Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams is one of the original "Foolish Club," the eight founding owners of the American Football League in 1960 when he went all in and created the Houston Oilers. And while that title used to be a bit of a joke, it seems now that Adams is literally quite foolish in a few different directions, and it has cost him the longest-tenured head coach in the NFL.
The news broke Thursday that Jeff Fisher, who has been on the Titans' staff since the team was in Houston, has decided to part ways with the team. The news was first reported by Don Banks of Sports Illustrated, and judging from comments made by Adams to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, the decision was entirely Fisher's.
FoxSports.com reports that Fisher will receive an $8 million settlement buyout on a contract with one year remaining. Had he stayed, Fisher was to receive $5.6 million in salary and a $4 million bonus in 2011.
Just talked to #Titans owner Bud Adams about Jeff Fisher news ""Where did you hear that? I better check on that. I can't talk about it now."
More Adams: " I really can't talk about it now because I don't know what's been said. I want to see what is going on.'' #titans
The recent history between Fisher and Adams has been strained, and most of the problems have involved quarterback Vince Young(notes). When Young publicly disrespected Fisher during the 2010 season, Adams insisted that the two would have to learn to get along. Eventually, when it became clear that one of the two parties would have to leave the team, Adams seemed to choose Fisher, and all seemed to be all right between owner and coach. That the supposed reconciliation happened so recently makes this news all the more strange.
Reports from Thursday indicate that Fisher may be specifically unhappy over losing two valued assistants -- defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil (who was recently fired) and defensive line coach Jim Washburn (who left for the Philadelphia Eagles.) Wyatt also reported that when offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger heard the news, it was a complete surprise to him.
Whatever the reason, the team has made Fisher's departure official. Fisher had a 142-120 regular-season record with the franchise, and a 5-6 playoff record.