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Sean McVay’s short-term answers to retirement questions are unsatisfying

McVay puts off current TV rumors until next year’s TV rumors

NFL: JAN 01 Rams at Chargers

Sean McVay is committed to the Los Angeles Rams...for now.

For yet another year, the 36-year-old McVay was asked to respond to the rumors flying around that he could leave the Rams for a job in the booth. McVay could have answered with saying that those thoughts are ridiculous, that the only thing he is focused on is winning another Super Bowl with the Rams, if not ten more Super Bowls, and that the only job that has his heart is coaching.

Instead, McVay said that he “wasn’t going to run away” from rumors about television jobs and that it’s “something that I’ve always been interested in” but that for “right now” he’s focused on the Rams.

Right now is right now. And “down the line” could literally be Monday.

It’s admirable that McVay is honest about what he wants to do with his career, but if this is his honesty, then the Los Angeles Rams franchise should be well aware—either behind the scenes or upfront—that they are going to be hunting for a new hew head coach in the future. Possibly in the near future. Possibly at any moment.

When Bill Belichick became a head coach for the first time with the Cleveland Browns in 1991, he was 39. He was a “young” head coach then. If Belichick was addressing rumors of going into television this early in his career, he might have never even gotten to the New England Patriots. Belichick, now 70, isn’t addressing rumors of going into the booth next season.

So perhaps the strangest part of McVay’s comments on Friday was, “These are always things that you kind of anticipate and expect are going to come up.”

Well, these are always things you anticipate when you don’t flat out deny the rumors and say—not suggest—that you are committed to the Los Angeles Rams just as every other head coach is committed to their franchise. Not “right now” but just as most people are expected to be committed to the jobs that they have—jobs that just gave you a contract extension through 2026.

Why isn’t Sean McVay’s answer to these rumors: “I have a job to do until 2026.”

Why isn’t that the answer?

The retirement and TV rumors are now expected to continue through all of 2023 and into 2024 because...Sean McVay just told reporters that they should continue to ask him the same questions because that’s what he does want to do in the future. Not in the 2027 future but “down the line” which could mean, next week. Or next year.

Reminder that the Rams not only extended McVay and Les Snead, but Matthew Stafford, through 2026. Cooper Kupp is signed through 2026. Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey are signed through 2025. Not all of these players will play through their contracts, but they were signed under the belief that the Rams are “Sean McVay’s vision” for the most part, especially with Stafford.

Why wouldn’t Sean McVay make it clear that he intends to at least see it through Stafford’s contract and to say, “If the Rams are gracious enough to let me keep that job that long”?

That’s the kind of answer that I kind of anticipate and expect an NFL head coach to give when asked if he’s going to leave the team, at any moment, for a different job. Not...”I’m flattered.”

Many of you have expressed frustration with Sean McVay and Aaron Donald for not always making it impossibly clear that they will be with the Rams as long as they’re so lucky and for us writing stories about their early retirements. Don’t be mad at us.

I’m just the messenger. McVay refuses to send the right message.