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Sources: NFL reminds owners of costly firings

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NFL officials have informed the owners of the league’s 32 franchises that teams have spent $800 million on fired coaches and front-office executives over the past five years, league sources told ESPN.

The message, delivered this past week at the owners’ meetings in Dallas, was sent by the league as a reminder that as some franchises mull significant changes at the end of the season, hundreds of millions of dollars have been squandered recently by teams that may need to act more patiently and less hastily.

NFL officials went so far as to compose individual spread sheets specific to each team, the employees they fired and the costs incurred by the team, according to sources. The league wanted each team to see the exact costs of instability, and the employees that they paid for services no longer rendered.

Costs this year already have begun piling up in ways the league is cautioning teams to guard against in the future.

• The Panthers fired head coach Matt Rhule with four years remaining on his seven-year, $60 million contract.

• The Colts fired head coach Frank Reich with four years remaining on his August 2021 contract extension that pays him $9 million annually.

• The Titans fired general manager Jon Robinson with four full years remaining on the contract extension he signed this past February.

With a league that averages close to seven head coaching changes per year, these will not be the last of the firings this season.

But the NFL is preaching patience to teams with the hopes of trying to cut back on the massive expense of firing people in key, high-profile positions.

The Giants are paying three different head coaches, and their respective coaching staffs, this year alone: Pat Shurmur, who was fired in 2020 just two years into a five-year deal; Joe Judge, who was fired this past January after also lasting only two years into a five-year contract; and first-year coach Brian Daboll, who had led New York to a 7-5-1 record entering Sunday night’s showdown with the Commanders.

Seven teams fired their head coach either during or after the 2021 season — the Jaguars, Bears, Vikings, Giants, Dolphins, Broncos and Texans — and two others also had head-coaching vacancies because of resignations — the Raiders and Saints.

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