Bills' head start could force Snyder's hand

We’d be shocked, perplexed, and/or flummoxed if former Broncos and Raiders coach Mike Shanahan were to become the next head coach of the Buffalo Bills.

At a time when “Holmgren” and “Gruden” are getting all the press, the guy who won one more Super Bowl than each of them needed to get his name in circulation.

If the Bills truly have launched the process of searching for a new head coach even before interim head coach Perry Fewell works his first game, the fact that Buffalo is beating the bushes could make others who plan a coaching change to get antsy.

At the top of that list is Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.  Despite Sunday’s unlikely win over the Broncos, Snyder and the ‘Skins surely are still plotting a change.  Of course, Jim Zorn can’t be fired as a practical matter while his hand is hot.  But if the Redskins lose to the Cowboys in ugly fashion and then fall to Philly, Snyder could be inclined to jump into the fray before Buffalo has a chance to get its hooks too deep into one of the prime candidates.

A scan of the standings doesn’t immediately reveal any other teams that could be inclined to accelerate the process of replacing a head coach given that the Bills have gotten a head start on the process, primarily since the Browns seem to be committed to giving coach Eric Mangini a full season and the Raiders won’t be hiring a new coach who has other NFL options, anyway.

That said, keep an eye on the Bears.  If they lose to the Eagles and the Vikings, falling to 4-7 and as a practical matter out of playoff contention, the fact that Shanahan is getting some play elsewhere could prompt Bears G.M. Jerry Angelo to recommend firing Lovie Smith before the end of the season.

As to Shanahan and the Bills, we’d be shocked if anything really happens.  Shanahan is believed to be owed $7 million from Denver in 2010.  If that’s the case, he’d need more than $7 million next year in order to avoid working for free.

The Bills aren’t likely to pay that kind of money for a head coach, unless they justify it by giving Shanahan the powers of a G.M., too.  Even then, the payment of big money to Shanahan would at a minimum contradict the notion that the Bills are having financial challenges.

22 responses to “Bills' head start could force Snyder's hand

  1. As long as The Daniel is running the Redskins they are going to continue to fail.. He smothers every coach and goes out and buys the biggest names on the market every year instead of letting a coach draft and sign free agents to fit their schemes.. This guy has to put his ego aside and start letting football people make football decisions.. Guarantee he wouldn’t let a football guy come in and start calling business decisions in the companies he built..
    And he has a terrible haircut..

  2. Florio,
    You need to keep up! After their win over the Broncos the Redskins are now the best team in the NFL bar none. They are going to run the table and finish 10-6, win the East and breeze through the playoffs to a Super Bowl win. Just ask the local media and some of the fans.
    On Monday Sam Huff, in his Monday local radio appearance, said, “Neither the Cowboys or the Eagles scare the Redskins … they have a good chance of running the table”. It will be easy, after all they only have to play Dallas 2x, the Eagles, the Giants, the Chargers, oh, and that patsy team New Orleans among their last 7 games.

  3. Where have you been the past few years? Mr. Snyder wants what Mr. Snyder wants. The best way to win the offseason, and Mr. Snyder loves to win the offseason, is to start the offseason during the season.
    If Shanahan is the preferred choice (ba-bye Vinny!), look at how “quickly” Snyder moved “after” the start of free-agency to sign Haynesworth and tell me that there haven’t been discussions with Shanahan’s agent.

  4. Your logic is flawed, no matter where the money comes from, Shanny is working for at least $7 mill next year, not for free.
    Thats just stupid logic on your part.

  5. Florio: “If that’s the case, he’d need more than $7 million next year in order to avoid working for free.”
    I agree with Marty, above, that this sentence doesn’t make sense. Is there something we don’t know?

  6. I think what Florio is getting at is that any team that wants Shanny is going to have to pay him more than he would be owed by the Broncos for NOT coaching next year.
    If the Bronco’s owe him 7 mil next season than any team that actually wants him to work for his money is going to have to make it more than that. Otherwise he’d be making the same amount for working as for not working.

  7. Good Lord Bill, Sam Huff is now representative of the media and fanbase in Washington as a whole? Gimme a freakin break man. Have you even opened a washington Post the last few years? Tuned into WJFK? Huff is borderline senile and the biggest homer this side of Snyder himself…and I like Sam. His legend is the only reason he’s still broadcasting though, even Sonny J. thinks he’s a bit of a clueless homer. He’s constantly correcting Huff’s screw ups.
    Washington is a little pumped because the Skins finally won a game, a little hyperbole and unwarranted hubris is natural when the team has been so disappointing, but I’d bet most Skins fans are like myself and happy about the game but aren’t suddenly delusional about the status of the Redskins front office or roster.
    Most of us thought Florio was nuts (if he was actually serious) about his SB pick, the Redskins are one sick franchise in dire need of help from some good football minds. Canning Vinny and paying someone a fortune to come in a do just that is a first step, backing off would be the next and hardest I believe. I think I could live with the first step alone for now, canning Vinny is absolutely paramount. Who knows, maybe a new guy would finally convince Snyder to back off and stick to paying checks and rooting for the team. Big “if/maybe” though.

  8. Things would have to get much uglier for the Bears to replace a coach mid-season.
    Redskins don’t have a head coach. Zorn is nothing more than a puppet for Owner/GM/Interim coach Snyder.

  9. Indeed!!!! Vinny is the problem, the man who doesn’t believe you need any offensive linemen to win at football……….
    But don’t be too crazy on danny-boy, we loved his knack for coach picking when Zorn was 6-2 last year.
    but with an old o-line, it wasn’t able to hold up. So in the offseason, Vinny did the right thing- Pay Haynesworth as much as Peyton Manning to play half the plays, when he’s not too busy sucking the oxygen.
    And sign some more undrafted rookie linemen.

  10. no way the bills sign any of these guys. its all for show. this way when they sign the latest retread-probably the montreal alouettes coach (cfl)- they can say “hey we tried to bring in a big name”. no one wants this job anyway. the only people they can hire are retreads, or guys trying to break into the league.

  11. Hope Shannahan does go to the Bills, he wants to be a GM and HC, and failed last time he tried that.
    As for the Redskins, they have Mike Mularkey listed as the top coaching candidate to replace Jim Zorn.

  12. You have to consider the fact that Shanahan actually *wants* to coach next year. Maybe he is willing to take a pay cut in order to get back on the field and play (read:lose) some games.

  13. No one with any brains will agree to work for the L’il General. All the money in the world isn’t worth working for that headache.
    One thing for certain is that the new coach will either not have an opportunity anywhere else or will be in such financial difficulty in this economic climate that they’ll agree to take a few years off their life to help their families out.
    Shanahan isn’t in either situation, neither is Holmgren. Danny and Smithers best chance is Cable or Mangini.

  14. Marty says:
    “Your logic is flawed, no matter where the money comes from, Shanny is working for at least $7 mill next year, not for free.”
    Thats just stupid logic on your part.”
    Florio- is that true? Has one of your readers proven more astute that yourself- not the first time if so. And if it is true, shouldn’t someone be shocked by the turn of events and shouldn’t ESPN report on it? Or do we sweep it under the rug like other PFT errors?

  15. Huff is a hopeless homer, but I love him.
    Nobody really believes the Redskins will win out, but if they play as well as they did in the second half against Denver, they’ll make it interesting.
    If they do manage to finish strong, then I’d be in favor of dumping Vinny and keeping Jim.

  16. Hi Mike,
    As stated earlier by several sweet and kind posters, the Broncos are on the hook for the difference in salary. If Shanahan takes a position that pays him less than 7 million, Bowlen coughs up the rest.
    But the real story is this…. as stipulated in the original contract language with the Broncos, Shanahan must actively seek employment elsewhere to receive any compensation next year from the Broncos. He cannot just sit back and collect the 7 million. He has to look for a head coaching job, and he has to have a really good reason for not accepting a job if an offer is tendered, in order to continue to be paid by the Broncos.
    This is why he is compelled to respond to the Bills’ overtures even before the 2009 season is over, even though he surely has no real intent to take a position with that franchise. If he were to rebuff the Bills overtures he could jeopardize his additional guaranteed money from Bowlen and the Broncos. Every owner knows this, and that’s why every owner with a head coach opening will most certainly get at least a cursory interview with Shanahan if they request it. His feet are being held to the fire on this. He cannot say no.
    Shanahan may actually be an extremely attractive candidate, as far as compensation goes, to these other franchises as he has two more years on his Broncos contract and they will be able to sign him for less than market value initially, and he will still get his 7 million per year for the 2010 and 2011 seasons, as the Broncos must make up the difference.
    What will be most interesting is if Shanahan will take a below market contract for the first two years to stick it to Bowlen, or if as he said when he was fired that he feels that Bowlen is the best owner in the NFL, and therefore out of gratitude for 14 years of employment he will force the new owner to pony up the full rate, thereby letting Bowlen off the hook for the last two years of his Broncos’ guaranteed contract.

  17. mike shanahan was a genius when john elway quarterbacked the team. in the 10 years following elway’s retirement, shanahan’s broncos failed to make the playoffs in five of those years, and won a single playoff game in the five years they did make the playoffs. he’s NO genius!

  18. I was right along with B_radC until I read what JohnnyJr had to say. Is it true that Shanahan must look for a different job? If so, that would change what I’ve been thinking. Until then…
    First, has Shananan expressed an interest in coaching next season?
    Second, how much money would he have to be paid? If Synder offers him $8 million a year (a huge number), obviously that covers the Broncos, but couldn’t Shanny look at it being paid only one million? 7 mil to sit back (and let the other big names like Gruden and Cowher land and then be at the top of the list the next year), or take only 1 extra million to go back to a hard grind? Shanny would be wise to demand 10 or 11 million. This point won’t matter much if he really wants to return, but I don’t remember seeing him state that strongly.

  19. If Dallas falls in the playoffs (again)… Wade will be out and Shanahan will be in. High profile team, new stadium, talent on the roster, owner not afraid to spend money…. Shanahan will only go to a legitimate contender (sorry Bills, Bears, Browns), he wants another ring. If your team doesn’t make the playoffs this year, he won’t be interested. Dallas is one of the few teams that could make the playoffs (along with San Diego) and still fire their head coach.

  20. Shanahan will only go to a legitimate contender (sorry Bills, Bears, Browns), he wants another ring.
    Well no other coach has won the super bowl with two different teams, so he would be the first.

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