As the season comes unraveled, the standard calls for the head coach to be replaced, which are normally just ‘white noise’ are starting to become something more tangible and meaningful. The dissatisfaction becomes more real, more widespread, more... palpable.
The ugliness that was on display against the Chargers on Sunday afternoon in LA was the kind of embarrassment that actually does get coaches fired.
I'm not recommending that Gruden should lose his job, but for the first time in his tenure, I think Dan Snyder might seriously entertain the possibility. Sitting here today, I’d put Gruden at 60/40, with the likelihood being that he survives. Another loss that looks like the Chargers game would change my view to 50/50 or worse. If the team finishes below 8-8, I think Jay’s chances of being back in 2018 are diminished.
Of course, there's nothing new in Kirk's situation. By rule, nothing can be decided (or even discussed) for 3 more weeks.
A ‘package deal’
But I think there's an argument to be made that the only way the Redskins pay Kirk to stay is if Gruden stays too.
or a ‘reboot’
If Dan fires Jay, then it's back-to-the-drawing board, and the Skins might as well let the new Head Coach draft a young quarterback and let them move forward together (a la Pederson & Wentz).
In this theory of team-building, the 'Skins either stay the course with Jay & Kirk, or press the re-start button with both a new HC and a new signal caller.
If the season ended today, the Redskins would be picking 9th or 10th in the draft, but with Chicago, Denver, Houston & Tampa Bay all currently at 4-9, Washington could end up picking in the 5-8 range.
If the Redskins finish badly enough to get Jay fired (likely 5-11) then they might want to get a young guy in this year's QB-rich draft class, leaving the front office with around $50m in salary cap (potentially a lot more if they want to move on from Josh Norman and his roster guarantees as well) to get a few key players to give the new coach the talent he needs to keep the team from regressing too far to restock in the 2019 and 2020 drafts and remain competitive.
Of course, a new head coach would mean new coordinators, and a fresh start on offense, defense and special teams.
What's the best way forward?
This poll is closed
Keep Jay & re-sign Kirk
Keep Jay but replace Kirk with a veteran QB
Keep Jay - draft a QB to replace Kirk
Fire Jay - keep Kirk
Get rid of both Jay & Kirk - start a veteran QB in 2018
Get rid of both Jay & Kirk - draft & play a rookie QB in 2018
Blow it all up. New coach, new QB, trade Norman, Reed, Kerrigan & Trent Williams to clear cap space and acquire picks.