It’s Black Monday around the NFL, the day that under-performing head coaches are traditionally given their pink slips. And the printer has been working overtime this year.
The biggest name of the bunch, albeit not an unexpected one, is Mike Shanahan, who was released after Washington wrapped up a 3-13 season.
Shanahan was fired after a morning meeting with owner Dan Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen, a formality expected for several weeks as the losses mounted and tension rose among Shanahan, Snyder and franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Shanahan went 24-40 in four seasons in Washington and had one year remaining on his five-year, $35 million contract.
Snyder will now be seeking his eighth head coach for his 16th season as an NFL owner — a span that includes just four winning seasons, two playoff victories and seven last-place finishes in the NFC East.
“Fans deserve a better result,” Snyder said in a statement. “... We will focus on what it takes to build a winning team, and my pledge to this organization and to this community is to continue to commit the resources and talent necessary to put this team back in the playoffs.”
Shanahan captured Super Bowls titles with quarterback John Elway and the Denver Broncos after the 1997 and 1998 seasons, but he won only one playoff game over his final 10 years with the club and was fired after the 2008 season.
Shanahan’s career regular-season record is 170-138 over 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Raiders, Broncos and Washington, but his two worst years have come in Washington — 5-11 in 2011 and this year’s 3-13. The 2013 record was also the worst for Washington since 1994, and their season-ending eight-game losing streak is their longest in more than 50 years.
• The Detroit Lions fired Jim Schwartz after the team finished 7-9 and failed to make the playoffs. The Lions were 6-3 before cratering this season — and they squandered fourth-quarter leads in each of their losses during a 1-6 finish to the year.
• The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are starting over entirely after firing coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik. Schiano was 11-21 in two seasons with the Bucs, who were 4-12 this year.
• The ax also fell on Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, whose team finished 5-10-1 in his third year on the job. Frazier succeeded Brad Childress, who is now a special assistant with the Chiefs, midway through the 2010 season. Frazier’s career record in Minnesota ends at 21-33-1.
• The Cleveland Browns got a head start on Black Monday by canning coach Rob Chudzinski Sunday evening. The Browns went from 4-5 to a disappointing 4-12 by season’s end. It’s the 11th straight year that they’ve missed the playoffs.