The Washington Commanders finally put head coach Ron Rivera out of his misery as a new era dawns for the franchise.
It didn't take a genius to figure out change was coming to the Washington Commanders. Two major moves from Josh Harris' ownership group to kick off Black Monday have completely shifted the landscape in the blink of an eye
According to multiple reports later confirmed by the team, the Commanders have fired head coach Ron Rivera after four seasons. The respected figure got the chance to see out the campaign, but a fourth-straight losing record coupled with some suspect roster-building meant his fate was sealed from a long way out.
Commanders alter their trajectory by firing Ron Rivera
A statement from Harris thanked Rivera for all his hard work via the team's website. More specifically, the exceptional commitment to community efforts and navigating the franchise through dark times.
"I want to thank Ron and his wife Stephanie for all they did for the Commanders and DMV community, especially during the ownership transition. Ron helped navigate this organization through some challenging times. He is a good man and thoughtful leader who has positively contributed to this organization and the NFL. I wish the Rivera family nothing but the best moving forward."- Josh Harris via Commanders.com
This probably comes as a relief for Rivera. He's been a lame-duck coach all season. He's handled himself with nothing but class throughout, but this was seemingly an unavoidable, foregone conclusion.
Perhaps more surprising was the announcement soon after revelations about Rivera's future surfaced. Harris has enlisted the help of former Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers and ex-Minnesota Vikings front-office leader Rick Spielman to assist with their upcoming hiring process.
Myers is responsible for building the Warriors dynasty before moving to become a television analyst. The move represents a significant statement of intent from Harris, who is well aware of the importance of Washington's offseason strategy based on comments via ESPN.
"This is a crucial offseason for us, and we won't shy away from the work needed to get back to a place where we can deliver a winning culture top to bottom. I've known Bob a long time and watched him construct four championship teams and a highly successful organization in Golden State…He is innovative, thoughtful, well-connected across sports and understands what it takes to solidify and sustain championship infrastructure. I think he's going to be incredibly additive."- Josh Harris via ESPN
Rivera seemed confident Harris and his wealthy team of investors would do right by the organization whether he was around to see things through or not. It's also evident that plans have been in the works for several weeks given how quickly everything's coming to light right now.
It's a hugely exciting time for Commanders fans. New ideas. New purpose. New challenges. But more importantly, there is renewed optimism that Harris can finally make the tough decisions needed to get this once-proud franchise off the canvas and back into contention.
As for Rivera? His head coaching journey has likely come to an end. It was a difficult situation in Washington thanks in no small part to Dan Snyder's incompetence. But this is a results business and the downward spiral endured by the Commanders in 2023 was the final nail in his proverbial coffin.
Many more moves are anticipated in the days or maybe even hours ahead. Something that represents the start of an exciting new era with Harris leading the charge.