As of Monday, it appeared that Sean McVay would be leaving the Rams after six seasons. In the end he decided to stay. So why did he choose not to leave?
While many Rams fans act like McVay’s decision to stay means he’s never considering leaving, well, that’s just plain wrong. Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported last Sunday that people in the building right now would be more surprised if he stays than if he leaves.
There are plenty of theories circulating in competitive circles as to why McVay changed course at a time when he spoke so openly about his weak status. Really, when had a head coach before McVay held such a public monologue about whether or not to resign? Something has changed from Monday to Friday.
It’s possible that there wasn’t one reason, but several different reasons that came together to make McVay choose to return for a seventh season. That said, here are reasons that may have influenced the final decision to stay where he is for at least another year.
First, McVay may have quietly struck a new deal. That is not to say that he deliberately talked about leaving to get more money from owner Stan Kroenke through COO Kevin Demoff. But if McVay wanted to go serious and if the Rams wanted to keep him serious, one way to do that would be to offer him more money.
If we ever find out if he’s been offered a new contract, we won’t know for a while. For example, he got a new deal last year after deciding not to leave for Amazon. Neither the Rams nor McVay have disclosed it. Indeed, McVay was specifically asked about it after training camp started and said he had not signed a new deal. Subsequently, a lengthy ESPN.com profile included a reference to the fact that McVay recently received a pay raise. Afterwards, McVay admitted that he had lied about not signing a new contract.
Second, key players who remain committed to the team through 2023 may have expressed dissatisfaction with the possibility of McVay leaving just a year after the team’s Super Bowl victory. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who was seriously considering retiring after 2021 and who tied his future with the team to McVay, signed an extension that tied Donald to the Rams for at least 2022 and 2023. Would Donald have done that if he had known McVay would? leave after 2022? Probably not, and McVay may have been told that.
Third, McVay may have been stung by the criticism he received for giving the impression that he had sold the franchise’s soul for a Super Bowl win, and that he walked away when Satan came to collect, in the form of a multi-year contract. rebuild. In the six years since McVay had become head coach of the Rams, he had always been the blond kid, the kid who could do no wrong. The man for whom everything was always roses. Now, for the first time ever, people suggested that he was behaving badly and/or selfishly. If that happened, it may have caused McVay to stay, just to avoid a story that he pulled an Indian Jones, slid under the door and reached for his hat as the Rams in an “eff them picks” fed purgatory slipped.
Fourth, McVay may have simply assumed he’d waltz from the sidelines into a broadcast booth, not realizing that seats that were open a year ago are now occupied. Once he started learning that there won’t be a viable and lucrative place for him in 2023, that alternative dried up.