Why did Sean McVay decide to stay with the Rams?

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks
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As of Monday, it looked like Sean McVay would leave the Rams after six seasons. He ultimately decided to stay. So why did he choose not to leave?

Although plenty of Rams fans are behaving as if McVay’s decision to stay means he was never considering leaving at all, well, that’s just incorrect. Last Sunday, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported that, at this point, people in the building would be more surprised if he stays than if he goes.

There are plenty of theories making the rounds in league circles as to what caused McVay to change course, at a time when he was speaking so openly about his tenuous status. Really, when had any head coach before McVay engaged in such a public monologue about whether to step down? Something changed from Monday to Friday.

It’s possible that there wasn’t any one reason, but that multiple different reasons combined, resulting in McVay choosing to return for a seventh season. With that said, here are reasons that may have influenced the final decision to remain where he is, for at least one more year.

First, McVay may have quietly gotten a new deal. That’s not to say he deliberately spoke about leaving in order to leverage more money from owner Stan Kroenke, via COO Kevin Demoff. But if McVay was serious about going and if the Rams were serious about keeping him, one way to do it would be to offer him more money.

If we ever know whether he got a new deal, we won’t know for a while. Last year, for example, he got a new deal after deciding not to leave for Amazon. Neither the Rams nor McVay disclosed it. Indeed, McVay was specifically asked about it after training camp began and said he hasn’t signed a new deal. Then, a lengthy ESPN.com profile included a reference to the fact that McVay has recently gotten a raise. After that, McVay fessed up to the fact that he’d fibbed about not signing a new contract.

Second, key players who remain committed to the team through 2023 may have expressed dissatisfaction with the possibility that McVay was leaving only one year after the team’s Super Bowl win. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who seriously contemplated retirement after 2021 and who linked 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’d known McVay would leave after 2022? Probably not, and that quite possibly was communicated to McVay.

Third, McVay may have been stung by the criticism he received for creating the perception that he’d sold the franchise’s soul for a Super Bowl win, and that he was running away when Satan came to collect, in the form of a multi-year rebuild. In six years since McVay became the head coach of the Rams, he’d always been the fair-haired boy, the kid who could do no wrong. The guy for whom everything always came up roses. Now, for the first time ever, people were suggesting that he was behaving poorly and/or selfishly. If that happened, it may have caused McVay to stay, simply to avoid creating a narrative that he pulled an Indian Jones, sliding under the door and reaching back for his hat as the Rams slipped into an “eff them picks”-fueled purgatory.

Fourth, McVay may have just assumed that he’d waltz from the sideline into a broadcast booth, without realizing that seats that were open a year ago are filled now. Once he began to learn that there will be no viable, and lucrative, spot for him in 2023, that alternative dried up.

26 responses to “Why did Sean McVay decide to stay with the Rams?

  1. If he really wanted to take the Amazon job, I’m positive that Bezos could pay to show Herbstreet the door. He may just want to see this through to whatever end happens to come.

  2. Maybe a talk at home with the wife helped him in his decision. He brought up family goals in previous press conferences, and perhaps those goals had an influence in him thinking about leaving in the first place.

  3. Even if he delivered only one Super Bowl- isn’t it with it? So many teams haven’t sniffed Super Bowl for decades. I think it was with it and I’m not a rams fan

  4. You want to know why he decided to stay? Because he realized he didn’t want to out after that disastrous season that will define him. And secondly he knows that the window is still open for this team at least for one more season. 2023 is not a rebuild. Assuming they don’t have the vast amount of injuries they had this season they will be contenders

  5. Because who would hire him after quitting after a down year post SB? And he was getting punked by everybody.

  6. He know he still has a one year window to win again, even if not another Super Bowl but at least a playoff run to wipe away the distaste of a losing season. And then he can walk away without tainting his legacy.

  7. Money for tv or a job that was open for the money he needed to leave.

    Regardless, the Rams will be bad for a very long time.

  8. Why wasn’t anyone outraged at the thought of him stepping away in the middle of his contract? How many years are left on the contract? Fulfill the contract then do what you want. Isn’t that what is written when a player holds out?

  9. Because with a healthy team, he could go back to the Super Bowl from the NFC. I mean look at the top teams now. Do any of them scream long term stability?

  10. Glazer doesnt know squat unless its a quote from him. All media is always trying to make a story out of zero facts. He wants to keep his job he never said he was leaving. He said he needs some time to think about it.

  11. Not quite sure where you’re getting this rebuild talk from. Rams will be a playoff team next year.

  12. McVay isn’t as intimidated by the state of the Rams roster that the talking heads kept saying he was.

    Could’ve let McVay tell us what he was going to do, rather than the media telling us what he was going to do.

  13. My guess is his legacy. Had he left last year he would have gone out a winner who help assemble a Superbowl winner in a creative way. One year later not only is he a coach of one of the worst regressions in history, but his player assessment especially at QB looks horribly wrong. Even worse, he Lions have the Rams pick (6) in the draft. A lot of talking heads will point out how bad that decision looks now. He wants another year to show he was right about Goff and Stafford.

  14. He will lead an epic tank job next year in exchange for a nice payoff before riding off into the TV land sunset. Rams go 2-15 and have the 1st pick in the draft in 2024.

  15. McVay is returning because he has a lot of key pieces . He has a Top 5 talent at key positions in QB Stafford , WR Kupp & DT Donald, CB Ramsey along with a rejuvenated and now healthy RB Cam Akers. Keep Stafford upright in 2023 and this is a playoff team with an eye on another Championship.

  16. If he left now he’d miss out on having Baker Mayfield for a full season. Think of the possibilities. Duh!

  17. His ego won’t allow him to walk away being called a front-runner who will only coach a stacked team.
    He’s heard the talk that we don’t really know if he can build a team from scratch.
    Then there’s the fact that an awful amount of money is sitting on the table. Why walk away from that?

  18. Pure guess here (just like Glazer and Florio), but I think there’s a disconnect between McVay and the GM Les Snead. McVay wants more control over trades and draft picks, and he was threatening to leave unless he got it. The real reason may leak out fairly soon.

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