Ask any past or present Buffalo Bills player how much the fans in this city feel about their football team and they are sure to tell you that they are some of the most passionate fans in the NFL. You don’t even have to be a superstar and top the NFL in every statistical category either, all you have to do is come to the field every Sunday and show us you care about us and this team, the fans will provide you with unconditional support.
It’s actually kind of interesting how this has all played out and I’m not sure anyone is properly understanding what is actually happening here. First of all, the very next morning after beating the Patriots at Gillete stadium for the first time ever and finishing with a winning record for the first time in ten years our starting quarterback announces that he is retiring. Even though he was set to make an astounding 5.4 million dollars next season and the fact that there is arguably nobody better suited than him for our QB next season, He has apparently decided to give up on his NFL dream and become a family man. That’s right, has suddenly decided to just give up over 5 million dollars to settle down with his family.
It gets better though, two days later our head coach announces that he is opting out of his contract with the team because of the strangest clause I have ever heard of in my life. A three day clause that was put into his contract in the event of a sale of the team, even though Ralph Wilson was an owner who would never sell the team. That pretty much means the clause was put into Marrones contract for the sole possibility that Ralph Wilson passed away and depending on the new ownership it would allow him to get the hell out of dodge, essentially making this a death clause.
Which I’m OK with the death clause as cruel as it might sound, while negotiating your contract for an NFL head coaching job you just never know who is going to take over and leave you working in a place you want nothing to do with if your 90 year old boss passes away. The thing here though that doesn’t quite sit well with me is that the team was bought by none other than Terry Pegula. Perhaps the greatest thing that could of happened for the team, an owner that not only cares about this team but is willing and able to spend top dollar to make us the best team we can be. So because we got a new owner that cares about every aspect of our team Marrone felt he had to take advantage of his bizarre death clause and get the hell out of dodge? Forget the fact that it was an easy $4 million paycheck for Marrone (yes he’s making $4 million for quitting) something still doesn’t quite add up.
Now I don’t have any interaction with the Buffalo Bills front office, and I also don’t have any top secret inside sources, but I can see what’s happening in front of my face. There are a couple different ways this thing played out and all of them indicate that Marrone and Orton were not going to be welcomed back to the team next season and they were both given an opportunity to leave on their own accord. That’s honestly the only logical explanation for what happened here, and I sincerely doubt that Doug Marrone actually had such a clause in his contract until this week. Seriously? A sudden surprise clause we are all just finding out about and then he uses it to leave even though he doesn’t have any other job lined up?
Here’s whats going on, Terry Pegula has previously said that he will be hiring an expert football consultant after this season, what I believe has happened is he has already hired that person and just hasn’t announced it formally. That’s what Terry Pegula does, he hires the best people available to make expert decisions for the teams he owns, and if you think he doesn’t already have that person picked out and was waiting for the season to end to start looking then you’re out of your mind. The ball has been rolling on this one since he bought the team, and both Orton and Marrone were both informed exactly where they stand.
Well I’ll tell you right now, better to be shamed publicly than to tell the great people of Buffalo. You can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a Buffalonian, especially when they are wielding a razor sharp defense on their team (10 points to whoever recognizes the reference). My theory may or may not be correct, but I’m right about one thing…