Doug Marrone has opted out of his contract and the Buffalo Bills must now look for a head coach. The clause in Marrone's contract was triggered when the Bills took on a new owner this year after the passing of Ralph Wilson, Jr. The Buffalo Bills have confirmed the report from ESPN.
Doug Marrone has opted out of his contract as the Buffalo Bills coach and is now a free agent to pursue other jobs, per @mortreport and me.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2014
Marrone gets his $4 million salary for the 2015 and there is no offset, meaning he gets it even if he signs with another team. Details are still emerging, but Marrone attempted to leverage his opt-out clause for new contracts for himself and his assistants but that did not happen, per Tim Graham of The Buffalo News.
League source: Marrone asked Pegulas for an extension and was told no. He then asked for extensions for his assistants and was told no.— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) December 31, 2014
The Pegulas released a statement immediately following the ESPN report.
"Doug Marrone informed me late today that he has decided to exercise the option clause in his contract and relinquish his responsibilities as our head coach.
We are disappointed that Coach Marrone will no longer be an important part of our organization. We thank him for all of his hard work and leadership during his tenure and wish him and his family the best with the next chapter in their lives.
We will now begin the important process of conducting a thorough search for a new head coach as we continue to strive to reach our goal of returning to the playoffs and bringing a championship to Buffalo for our fans."
Marrone spent two seasons with the Bills and will now presumably take a new head coaching job somewhere in the NFL. There is reportedly strong interest from his hometown New York Jets. The Bills will begin looking for a new head coach, likely with defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and former Bills QB Frank Reich.