It seemed like just a short while ago that Sean McVay was being regarded as the second coming of Christ in the world of coaching, and needless to say times have changed, but we don’t think anyone could have predicted the tide turning this swiftly.
The reining Super Bowl champion head coach did just have the worst hangover of any team in the Super Bowl era, with his Rams, trying to scrape out six wins on the season Sunday, and that reportedly has McVay’s future as coach in LA in limbo.
According to multiple sources via ESPN, McVay is unsure if he will return next season and will take some time to step away after the season’s conclusion to make a decision.
Sources believe McVay will take some time after Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Seattle Seahawks to determine whether he will return in 2023.
McVay has gone back and forth on the decision, and needs time to get away to process all that has transpired over the past year — winning a Super Bowl, being courted to work in television, getting married, watching his wife’s home country of Ukraine invaded, losing his grandfather, and then coaching a team that has fallen short of its expectations.
Los Angeles is 5-11 — the first time since the Rams hired him in 2017 that McVay will have a losing record as a head coach. The defending Super Bowl champions have been decimated by injuries, and sources believe it has taken its toll on McVay. Sources believe McVay needs time to recharge and to determine whether he has the energy to continue coaching next season.
The Rams have some of their own changes to make. They are without their first-round pick, are tight against the 2023 salary cap, and their offensive coordinator Liam Coen is planning to return to his offensive coordinator job at Kentucky, sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen last month.
McVay, as always, is expected to have options: he could draw interest from networks — as he did last offseason from Amazon — but many of those jobs already have been filled.
McVay, 36, told reporters Friday that interest from the networks comes in part because he hasn’t “run away from the fact that down the line, or whenever that is, that’s something I’ve been interested in.”
McVay is under contract to the Rams through the 2026 season, but if he were to step away, the contract would toll and he would remain under contract to Los Angeles, just as Sean Payton remains under contract to the New Orleans Saints.
Through a Rams’ spokesman, McVay declined comment to ESPN on his future or his plans for 2023.
McVay will close out his season in Seattle against a Seahawks team that needs a win to have a chance to make the playoffs, with one of the irony of ironies: All season long, since the Lions own the Rams’ 2023 first-round pick, Detroit has rooted against Los Angeles. But the Lions need the Rams to beat the Seahawks on Sunday to give Detroit a chance to advance to the postseason.
Former Lions and current Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford was eligible to come off injured reserve Saturday, but Los Angeles opted against a move that could have helped Stafford’s former team. For the first time this season, the Lions will be cheering for the Rams in a game that will mark the final one of the season, before McVay can take time to best decide what he wants to do in the future and whether he will be coaching the Rams in the 2023 season.