The Rams have signed head coach Jeff Fisher to a contract extension, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com writes that the new deal will be for one year, with an option for 2018. Per Rapoport, Fisher agreed to the extension in the preseason and signed it in the regular season (Twitter link). Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio tweets that Fisher put pen to paper several weeks ago, but the news is just leaking now. ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirms the report and adds that the club has also extended GM Les Snead (Twitter link).
The news may be unwelcome for Rams fans, but it is relatively unsurprising, as Los Angeles was expected to extend its GM and head coach for some time now, despite their largely disappointing tenures with the club. Team COO Kevin Demoff praised Fisher earlier this week, emphasizing his steady hand through the specter of relocation and the relocation itself, along with his ability as a “leader of men.”
Fisher and Snead joined the Rams together in 2012, and the club has gone 31-43-1 since then. The team did land Jared Goff with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, and now that the former Cal star has taken over as the Rams’ starting quarterback, there is reason to hope that they will begin to show some improvement.
But even though the Rams have had largely disappointing quarterback play during the Fisher/Snead regime, the roster has not been entirely devoid of talent. And yet, the club has not posted a non-losing record under their watch, and Fisher has not enjoyed a winning season as an NFL head coach since 2008, his penultimate year in Tennessee.
However, team owner Stan Kroenke wanted to give Fisher a chance to coach the Rams through the opening of the team’s new stadium in Inglewood, and this extension will give him a chance to do just that (Twitter links via Jason Cole of Bleacher Report). But the fact that Fisher’s new deal is really for just one year, with an option for 2018, suggests that his job is still not especially safe. Schefter tweets that the extension does not give Fisher any more job security and that the Rams must play well down the stretch for Fisher to return next season (which won’t be easy, given the Rams’ strength of schedule). Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter links) feels the same way, observing that it is not uncommon for a team to fire a head coach with two years left on his deal. Pelissero further opines that if the team agreed to the extension in the preseason but was “too embarrassed” to announce it publicly until months later, that cannot be a good thing for Fisher, despite Gonzalez’s note that Kroenke has largely been able to look past Fisher’s win-loss record because of how he represents the organization.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets that the Rams are not commenting on the extensions, but that team officials may address the situation after the Rams’ matchup against New England today.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.