It took the Rams months to leak (and then to confirm) the news that coach Jeff Fisher has a new contract. More months and weeks likely will go by before the team leaks and/or confirms any details about the deal.
Asked specifically about the question of whether Fisher’s new deal contains a one-year escape clause for the team, Rams COO Kevin Demoff declined to address any aspect of the contract.
Some league insiders who had been saying that Fisher has had a new contract in place for months also believe that the deal (reported as a two-year extension) gives the Rams the ability to pull the plug after one year, technically making it a one-year extension with a one-year option held by the team.
Regardless of whether it’s a one-year or two-year extension, the fact that Fisher got the contract before the season began makes it possible that owner Stan Kroenke will decide to move on after 2016, if for example the team finishes with a 4-12 or 5-11 record.
Asked by reporters on Sunday whether Fisher expects to be the coach in 2017, he didn’t dismiss the question as ridiculous in light of his newly-disclosed extension.
“Yes, I do,” Fisher said. “I’ve got some work to do here to finish up strong. You know, we have some personnel issues to deal with and get better. And we have some issues to deal with from an offensive side of the ball.”
This response implies that if the team doesn’t “finish up strong” Kroenke could decide to make a change. If the new contract has only one year guaranteed, the buyout would necessarily be lower.
And with the Rams becoming able to sell premium products at their new stadium no later than February 15, 2017, a buyout for Fisher could become a loss leader for Kroenke.