When Rex Ryan was fired last week by the Bills, the team’s owner, Terry Pegula, laid out the story: Rex Ryan asked to be fired, so I fired him.
Rex Ryan has been the butt of jokes on the internet since he started with the Jets, so everyone laughed. Except … maybe that’s not exactly how his firing went down. This, from the MMQB, appears to come from Rex Ryan’s camp, because if you’re looking to get back into coaching (good luck!), you want the full story out there:
According to multiple people with knowledge of the conversation, Ryan, Pegula and Whaley had had their standard weekly conversation last Tuesday. That’s when Ryan learned of the organization’s decision to bench Taylor, the starting quarterback the past two seasons. The Bills were already eliminated from playoff contention, and there would have been a financial risk to playing Taylor. His $27.5 million salary for 2017 is guaranteed for injury only, so if he suffered a significant one in the season finale, the Bills would have been on the hook for money they may not want to pay. They also wanted to see the other quarterbacks on the roster, EJ Manuel and Cardale Jones, get some game action.
Both were obvious signs that the Bills were not committed to Taylor—or to Ryan, who had handpicked Taylor to be his quarterback. So Ryan, who for a few weeks had been hearing reports of his impending firing, asked to speak to Pegula one-on-one. Ryan had made a promise to Taylor, telling him that he’d be the Bills starting quarterback as long as Ryan was the coach. Ryan didn’t want to break his word, and he was worried how the team would respond. If you are already planning on firing me next Monday, Ryan told Pegula, then you might as well fire me now.
So Pegula did.
Wait, so the owner and GM conspired to bench the QB Rex Ryan had them sign, because they a) didn’t want to pay him if he got hurt b) he’s clearly not in their future plans.
Hmmm. We can all agree that Rex Ryan’s not a very good head coach. But how dysfunctional are the Bills when the GM and QB aren’t on the same page? And the owner is stepping in to determine who is starting in a meaningless Week 17 game?
What a disaster.