After a season where just about everything went wrong for the Los Angeles Rams, discussions about Sean McVay's future are resurfacing. There was noise before the Super Bowl last year that McVay might leave the NFL sidelines for the broadcast booth sooner rather than later. Potentially very soon. McVay did nothing to dissuade this notion and now the rumor mill is swirling once more.
Adam Schefter initially reported over the weekend that McVay's future is "up in the air." Following that there were several similar reports that emphasized no decision has been made and McVay is still thinking about it. On Sunday Peter Schrager reported for Fox that it's an open dialogue between McVay and the Rams. The team obviously wants him back and needs to know ASAP if he's going to return but will let him take his time because they want him fully committed if he does come back for 2023.
The noise has never been louder. If McVay does depart for the announcing pastures, the Rams still have a Super Bowl-quality roster assuming everybody else returns next year healthy and ready to win. Who could Los Angeles pursue to replace their boy wonder head coach?
It seems one year away from the sideline was good enough for Payton. The former coach is in discussions with the Denver Broncos already and there have been rumblings all season about his desire to leave Fox to coach again in 2023. The Rams have everything Payton is looking for. A good, veteran quarterback to build around. Elite skill-position guys. A roster ready to win now. Especially relevant for Payton is the presence of Les Snead, who has grown legendary for his disregard for draft picks and the Rams will have to give the New Orleans Saints something if they want Payton. Swapping one Sean for another makes the most sense for the Rams if they can pull it off.
Harbaugh's name is constantly in the news this time of year so why not include him here? Harbaugh would presumably only leave Michigan for a quality opportunity in the NFL and the Rams certainly represent that with a good roster and a Pro Bowl quarterback. He is a known quantity as a head coach. The Rams could be reasonably confident that Harbaugh could come in and win immediately with the tools at his disposal. They wouldn't have to give up any assets like they would with Payton. If Harbaugh is desperate to get out of the college game then he should be at the top of the Rams' wish list.
Not nearly as flashy a name as the previous two options but the most likely in a vacuum. Morris is the current defensive coordinator so there would be a smooth transition of power. He'd probably keep most of the staff in place to help with that. He's had some head coaching experience and has proven himself a pretty good defensive coordinator so there would be optimism the defense wouldn't step back as long as they have some better health luck in 2023. Given that McVay isn't likely to make his decision anytime soon Morris is the most probable candidate to replace him as a low-maintenance in-house option that the players can get behind.