Just as the economy has smashed almost all aspects of society, it will do the same to football after the season.
But the economic downturn might turn out to be a good thing for coaches on the hot seat.
Multiple league executives believe small-market teams will be less apt to fire coaches and pay off their contracts in the current spiraling economy. For example, it would cost the Jacksonville Jaguars upwards of $20 million to fire head coach Jack Del Rio, a blow the franchise can’t afford to absorb.
The struggling economy will contribute to saving some coaching jobs, but it will hit the players as well, many executives predict.
Teams are fully aware that when the Giants won the Super Bowl last season, they were some $20-plus million under the salary cap. With the salary cap scheduled to be at least $123 million per club in 2009, look for more cash-strapped teams to spend far less and mimic the model the Giants used during their championship season.
The economy will now be a factor in deciding whether teams hire or fire coaches.