After the Rams' loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, Fisher confirmed to reporters he received an extension during the offseason.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport first reported Sunday morning the team reached an agreement with Fisher on what is believed to be a two-year contract extension. ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed the report, adding that general manager Les Snead also signed an extension.
Rapoport reported Fisher and the Rams agreed to the extension during the preseason, but Fisher didn't officially sign it until the regular season.
"A contract extension does not give Jeff Fisher any more job security," Schefter noted. "Rams must win and play well down stretch or his job will be in danger."
Jason Cole of Bleacher Report echoed that sentiment Monday, noting there's no guarantee Fisher returns despite the extension:
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Although the 58-year-old was in the final year of his original deal, the news comes as a surprise. After a 3-1 start to open the 2016 campaign, the Rams find themselves at 4-8 through 13 weeks.
Fisher, who played at USC, has ties to Southern California.
Based on how his teams have performed of late, however, that hometown connection will only go so far. At a certain point, the Rams will have to become a playoff contender in order to maintain the excitement their move caused.
For the majority of his coaching career, Fisher has come to define NFL mediocrity, a point to which SportsPickle alluded:
No one fails as successfully as Jeff Fisher fails. https://t.co/a81VJbQUAy3/1/2016, 1:32:37 AM
Hall of Fame running back and Rams legend Eric Dickerson also criticized the extension during an appearance on Fox 11 Los Angeles on Sunday:
In 10 of his 16 full seasons with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans, he finished at or below .500. That trend followed him to St. Louis when he joined the Rams in 2012. Here's how the team finished and where its offense and defense ranked in each season since, per Pro-Football-Reference.com:
|Jeff Fisher's Record with Rams|
|Season||Team Record||Division Finish||Total Offense||Scoring Offense||Total Defense||Scoring Defense|
Of course, this extension doesn't preclude team owner Stan Kroenke from firing Fisher should the Rams have an underwhelming debut campaign in Los Angeles.
In St. Louis, the Rams had to compete for attention with only the Cardinals and Blues. Now, they have six different competitors—the Clippers, Lakers, Dodgers, Kings, Sparks and Galaxy—all within the greater Los Angeles area. The Angels and Anaheim Ducks are also less than one hour south down Interstate 5.
A poor record in 2016 won't put the Rams' future in jeopardy, especially considering they're not moving into their Inglewood, California, stadium until 2019. That said, Fisher's extension isn't the kind of development that will galvanize the fanbase.