Updated 05:48 PM EST, Tue, Jan 18, 2022

NFL News and Updates: Buffalo Bills Coach Doug Marrone Fired?

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Was Doug Maronne really fired from the Buffalo Bills?

There might have been news circulating, but no, said Yahoo Sports. He opted out of his contract after two years of coaching, it added, per a statement the NFL team released just hours before the clock struck 12 on New Year's Eve.

Team owner Terry Pegula, in the statement, said: "[Marrone] informed me late today that he has decided to exercise the option clause in his contract and relinquish his responsibilities as our head coach... We are disappointed that Coach Marrone will no longer be an important part of our organization." See the complete statement here.

"Marrone's time in Buffalo finishes with a 15-17 record over two seasons. Now the Bills have to start over," said the piece. "One would imagine Marrone has his eyes set on another opening."

According to ESPN Go, he is technically a free agent now, after availing an opt-out option that was activated after Pegula bought the team.

"Marrone exercised the unique option during the final hours of a three-day window that opened Monday, stipulated in the four-year contract he signed with the Bills in 2013," the ESPN Go report said. "The opt-out clause was included in the original contract in the event of an ownership change, which occurred when Terry and Kim Pegula purchased the franchise in October."

USA Today said the clause was meant to protect Maronne once team owner Ralph Wilson died, which happened March 25. "The clause activated as soon as the season finale with New England ended Sunday, and it was due to expire at midnight Wednesday," it explained.

Other teams with vacancies in their head coach positions are the Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets, the last seen as the strongest possibility for Maronne.

"This is pretty good news," said Jets owner Woody Johnson, per New York Daily News. "I just found out Doug Marrone is available. We will look at him."

Meanwhile, reports USA Today, "...[T]he Bills will be in search of their eighth head coach (counting 2009 interim Perry Fewell) since the dawn of the 21st century."

An unnamed source told ESPN Go that Marrone decided to detach himself from his four-year, $16-million contract after beginning talks on a possible extension and then finding out future organizational changes. He walks away with $4 million guaranteed, the report also said.

The Yahoo Sports report said the act would dampen the spirit of the Pegula-owned team, whose last appearance in the playoffs was in 1999. They posed a 9-7 record, after a 6-10, and are now without Kyle Orton, who retired as quarterback.

ESPN Go said some players were surprised, and the Washington Post called the move a "semi-stunner." However, USA Today mentioned that some players wanted Marrone's ouster, among them benched quarterback EJ Manuel, who tweeted "Happy New Year."

The Bleacher Report thinks Marrone has done enough to get offers.

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