Sunday’s Week 18 game between the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks could be Sean McVay’s final game as the head coach for the Rams. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, McVay’s future as the Rams coach is in Limbo. Schefter is reporting,
“Sean McVay’s immediate future as the Los Angeles Rams head coach is in limbo, multiple sources told ESPN. Those 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.”
Adam Schefter just reported on ESPN that people close to McVay are saying that the Rams head coach will take some time after the season to decide if he will return in 2023.— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) January 8, 2023
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport also had a report on Saturday, saying that McVay would “take time away following the conclusion of the season” to decide on his future.
This comes as no surprise given how McVay answered questions regarding the broadcasting rumors earlier this week. McVay said, “I think it’s flattering. These are always going to be things that you kind of anticipate and expect that are gonna come up, because I haven’t run away from the fact that down the line that’s something that I’ve been interested in. But...want to be here right now, focus on that, and that’s where I’m at.”
Schefter’s report also echos what Peter Schrager, who is close to McVay, said on The Ringer NFL Show this week.
Could this week be Sean McVay's last game as head coach of the Rams?@BillSimmons and @PSchrags discuss McVay's future as the Rams' head coach following a down year with the team. pic.twitter.com/udFnP5R96C— The Ringer (@ringer) January 7, 2023
Between the short Super Bowl offseason, his wedding and honeymoon, the situation in Ukraine where all of his wife’s family lives, and how the season has gone, McVay has gone through a lot. It’s no surprise that at the very least he wants to decompress and feels like he needs to step away.
Certainly, this muddies the waters for the future of the Rams going into next season. If McVay does decide to walk away, you would hope for a decision sooner rather than later. A sooner decision would allow the Rams to conduct a complete head coaching search. If McVay does make a decision later in the coach hiring cycle, the Rams would likely have to stay in-house. This would leave Thomas Brown and Raheem Morris as the two best options.
It’s also worth noting that Sean Payton has expressed interest in Los Angeles. However, the Los Angeles Chargers make much more sense for Payton than the Rams. As MMQB’s Albert Breer reported, Payton would want to select his own general manager. The Chargers also have the capital to trade for Payton while the Rams would need to keep their 2024 first round pick, anticipating a rebuild post-McVay.
This will certainly be a situation to monitor over the coming weeks. However, for the first time since the broadcasting rumors surrounding McVay started, it seems like this is a more real possibility than ever.