nfl warns teams urges patience firing coaches

#NFL #warns #teams #urges #patience #firing #coaches #executives

Today the NFL informed team owners that the league’s 32 franchises have combined to spend $800M on fired coaches and front-office executives over the last five years, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The message was delivered with an intent and was certainly strategically timed. The league is imploring teams to exercise patience “with the hopes of trying to cut back on the massive expense of firing people in key, high-profile positions.” The timing of the message was strategically in the weeks leading up to the close of the regular season, when team ownership and decision-makers are starting to formulate how they’d like to attack the offseason.

Each team was provided with spreadsheets detailing employees the team has fired and the resulting costs to the team for each termination. The league wants teams see the unnecessary expenses incurred by instability and the exact cost for the employees they had paid for services that were no longer being rendered. These details were delivered in hopes that each franchise will heavily consider these numbers as they contemplate making significant changes to their staffs in the offseason.

The Giants are a notable example of this. New York is currently paying three different head coaches this season. Pat Shurmur was fired nearly three years ago only two years into a five-year deal. Two years later, the team fired Joe Judge, who also only coached two years into a five-year contract. Both are still receiving paychecks from the Giants, who now boast Brian Daboll as their head coach.

Last year saw nine teams part ways with their head coaches: the Bears, Broncos, Texans, Jaguars, Raiders, Dolphins, Vikings, Saints, and Giants. Five franchises, four of them listed above, found themselves looking for new general managers, as well: the Bears, Raiders, Vikings, Giants, and Steelers. On average, the league sees about seven head-coaching changes each year.

So far this season, two head coaches have lost their jobs. Former Panthers head coach Matt Rhule was fired only three years into a seven-year, $60M contract. Former Colts head coach Frank Reich also was terminated with four years remaining on his current contract, leaving approximately $36M to be paid. Additionally, the Titans have fired general manager Jon Robinson with four years left on his deal.

With these gaudy numbers adding up before the offseason has even approached, it’s easy to see why the league is preaching patience. The real question is: will anyone listen? Fan bases don’t care how much a team has to spend in order to move towards success. If team decision-makers are convinced that a change in leadership is necessary to improve their chances for success, is a penny-pinching memo from the league office really going to stop them?

History and reason predict that the answer to that question is “no.” If this turns out to be an average year, we have about five more head coach firings coming our way. No telling how many teams will discover a need for changes in the front-office, as well. The NFL may not want it, but one assumes that Black Monday is as inevitable as ever.

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