The Philadelphia Eagles have fired head coach Doug Pederson less than three years after he led them to the Super Bowl title.
The Eagles failed to reach the playoffs this season, despite playing in the weak NFC East, and finished with a 4-11-1 record. Philadelphia failed to spark on offense, finishing 26th in scoring, and their franchise quarterback Carson Wentz regressed to such an extent that he was benched for back-up Jalen Hurts.
ESPN reported that Eagles management had grown disillusioned with Pederson’s choice of coaching staff and his frayed relationship with Wentz, who signed a four-year, $128m contract with the team in 2019. Other players are believed to have lost faith in Pederson after he benched Hurts for third-stringer Nate Sudfeld in the Eagles’ final game of the season against divisional rivals Washington. Some believed Pederson had deliberately lost the game to move up the board in this year’s draft.
“I have known Doug and his family for more than 20 years and they will always be family to me,” said Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and everything we have accomplished together over the last five seasons. Everyone in the organization understands the type of man and coach that he is, and how much he means to all of us as well as the City of Philadelphia. We all look forward to the day he will be inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame as a Super Bowl-winning head coach, and we are confident he will have success with his next team.
“But as the leader of this organization, it is imperative for me to do what I believe is best for everyone as we look ahead to the future and move into our next chapter. I know that we have work to do to get back to where we want to be, but I also believe that we have an exceptionally strong group of people in this organization who can help set us up for future success.”
The firing is an abrupt end for a coach who became a hero in Philadelphia after delivering the city its first NFL championship in more than 50 years in 2018. The Eagles went on to reach the the playoffs in the next two seasons before missing out this year. Pederson finishes his Eagles career with a 42-37-1 record in five seasons.