1:19pm: Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News has contradicted his colleague’s report, citing a source who says Pegula did not issue a one-year ultimatum to Ryan and Whaley. The Bills and Whaley are reportedly working on an extension.
As I noted below, even if the Bills eventually do consider making changes a year from now, it would be unusual for such an ultimatum to be issued and reported at this point.
10:08am: Bills owner Terry Pegula announced last week that head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Doug Whaley would be returning to the team for the 2016 season. However, the duo shouldn’t get too comfortable in Buffalo just yet.
According to Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News, Pegula has issued an ultimatum of sorts to Ryan and Whaley: If they can’t make the necessary improvements to the Bills to get the club into the postseason, they’ll be let go after the 2016 season.
The fact that Ryan and Whaley will enter the 2016 season in playoffs-or-bust mode perhaps doesn’t come as a real surprise, especially since Whaley has just one year left on his contract. The club had expected to make it into the postseason this year, and neither the head coach nor the GM was considered safe until Pegula’s announcement last week, so it makes sense that the Bills would explore other options if the team underachieves again in 2016. Still, it’s rare that this sort of ultimatum is reported so early, and so definitively.
While Ryan, who has four years remaining on the contract he signed last January with the Bills, will get at least one more season in Buffalo, the same can’t be said for all of his assistant coaches. A source tells Carucci that at least two changes will be made to Ryan’s coaching staff, though there are “strong indications” that defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman is safe.
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