Sean McVay is widely regarded as one of the top coaches in the NFL, but the Rams are in no rush to pay him like an elite head coach.
Almost every time an NFL team has a head coaching vacancy they try to look for the next Sean McVay to lead their franchise. At some point, an enterprising owner is going to try to poach the Rams for the real thing.
At first glance, that seems like a foolish mission. After all, McVay is blessed with one of the most talented teams in football. His front office also seems prepared to regularly spend big money to make sure he has a chance to win a Super Bowl title. That’s generally a combination for relative longevity in the NFL.
Unfortunately for the Rams, they have one major weakness in their plan to keep McVay as their coach for years to come. They continue to pay him like one of the weakest coaches in the league. At the moment, McVay’s contract pays him around $4 million per season. For the sake of comparison, the Seahawks recently tied Pete Carroll down with a new contract that pays him somewhere in the neighborhood of $11 million per year.
It’s fair to point out that Carroll has accomplished more than McVay in his career, but quite a few general managers would pick McVay as their coach over the veteran Seahawks boss if given the choice. That makes the Rams’ unwillingness to hand their head coach a new deal so perplexing. The team’s Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff says they are very happy with the job McVay’s done, but the franchise is more focused on taking care of players who need new deals than their head coach.
The simple reality is that the Rams organization needs to have the bandwidth to accomplish both things at once. Keeping the team’s talented roster together is important, but paying massive salaries to players is a poor investment without the right leader in place to guide them. McVay doesn’t have a Super Bowl ring yet, but there’s no logical argument to be made that he’s not a top-flight head coach.
As such, the Rams need to make giving him a market rate contract a priority. That will rob Los Angeles of the bargain salary they’re currently paying McVay, but the risk of losing him to a team willing to make him a big offer is too great for the organization to stomach. The best way to keep McVay in place for the long haul is to make sure he never starts looking at other jobs. Paying him like one of the top coaches in the league should be a priority for the Rams in the very near future.