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Rex Ryan, Doug Whaley Reportedly Given 1 Year to Get Bills into Playoffs

Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan, right, talks with team owner Terry Pegula, center, and team manager Doug Whaley during an NFL training session at the Grove Hotel in Chandler's Cross, England, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. The Buffalo Bills play the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley stadium in London on Sunday in a regular season NFL game.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press
Mike ChiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 5, 2017

The Buffalo Bills haven't made the playoffs since 1999, and if that drought continues through 2016, then owner Terry Pegula reportedly intends to clean house.  

According to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News, a source close to the situation said Pegula will fire both head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Doug Whaley should the Bills miss the postseason once again in 2016.

Buffalo went 8-8 in its first season under Ryan in 2015, although it did prevent the AFC East rival New York Jets from making the playoffs by defeating them in Week 17—along with a Pittsburgh Steelers win.

There was some thought Pegula might consider making a change after a disappointing 2015 season, but he expressed support for both Ryan and Whaley prior to Week 17 in a statement, per Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com:

As our first full season as owners of the Buffalo Bills draws to a close, management, coaches, players and fans all feel that our expectations were not met. ... (co-owner) Kim (Pegula), (team president) Russ (Brandon) and I look forward to working and collaborating with Doug Whaley and Rex Ryan in forming a winning future for the organization. Our management team and coaching staff are very capable and work well together. This stable foundation is necessary to achieve long term success in the NFL.

According to Carucci, Whaley has just one year remaining on his contract, while Ryan still has four. However, Whaley's situation may be improving, as Jeremy White of WGR 550 reported the Bills are "finalizing the language on a multi-year extension with Whaley," adding the sides have "verbally agreed on terms."

Despite that, Ryan's job security is in question perhaps due in part to the fact he was so confident the team would make the playoffs in 2015.

According to WGR 550 (h/t ESPN.com's Mike Rodak), Ryan regretted the way he handled himself upon becoming the Bills coach:

I think we got a great thing going here. We just didn't produce the wins I thought we would. The thing that kind of gives this team a black eye when we're looking at it is that I let my mouth get ahead of everything. And I think if I would have come in there and just said, "Hey, we're gonna compete," and do all that stuff, maybe we wouldn't have such a bad feeling about this team.

Buffalo's defense surprisingly regressed to No. 19 in the NFL under Ryan's watch, but the offense ranked a surprising 12th in scoring and first in rushing, while quarterback Tyrod Taylor proved to be a capable NFL starter.

The pieces appear to be in place for the Bills to turn things around and make the playoffs in 2016, but Pegula and the Bills fanbase are clearly tired of waiting.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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