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Marcus Hayes: Could Doug Pederson, fired by the Eagles, be done with the NFL for good?

Marcus Hayes, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Football

PHILADELPHIA — Doug Pederson now lives on the water in Jupiter, Fla. A source who has known him for years says Pederson just took delivery of a 38-foot, center-console fishing boat powered by four 400-horsepower engines. Boats like this can reach 80 mph, and they can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It’s the kind of boat you buy when you’ve got nothing but fishing in your future.

Pederson won Super Bowl LII just three years ago. His reward: Constant hectoring from Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie; catastrophic personnel decisions by analytics-driven general manager Howie Roseman; insubordination and treachery from Carson Wentz, the quarterback Pederson built.

Pederson beat COVID-19 in 2020, then coached an old, injured Eagles team to a 4-11-1 record. He made mistakes. He made outrageous statements. He made an enemy of Wentz, who played so poorly, often in defiance of Pederson’s orders, that he had to bench him in Game 12. Pederson then so badly botched the end of the meaningless season finale that he was accused of losing it on purpose.

These were the actions of a man who didn’t give a damn what anybody thought about his decisions, about what he said, or about what he did.

Certainly, Pederson always wanted to win. But after four years of winning at Lurie’s heel, of winning despite Roseman’s flawed agendas, Pederson coached the 2020 season with disregard for his own future. He didn’t bow to Wentz. He insisted on (finally) hiring his own coaches. He wanted to win right away if he came back for 2021. Lurie disagreed. And so, Pederson was fired.

 

This did not devastate him.

With two years left on his contract, Lurie still owed Pederson between $8-$12 million, which would bring his career earnings as a head coach to about $20 million. Instead of living at the office, his late nights could now be spent on the water, his early mornings spent at the golf course.

First thing Doug did when he got fired?

He went fishin’.

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