Arthur Smith Contract: Falcons HC set to earn $17,000 daily for three years without leading the team

As soon as the regular season concluded, the Atlanta Falcons also ended their tie with their head coach, Arthur Smith, letting him join the squad of Josh McDaniels, Frank Reich, and Brandon Staley. The firing incident took place after the Falcons’ disheartening 48-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints following a scuffle with the Saints head coach.

Nevertheless, despite the uncertainty surrounding the fired coach’s coaching future in the NFL, the financial safety net guarantees a cushioned impact on his livelihood.

Falcons HC Arthur Smith set to make $17,000/day doing nothing

Though the Falcons decided to part ways with Smith, Arthur Smith is poised to receive a substantial sum of approximately $17,000 per day until the expiration of his contract. This seemingly extraordinary financial cushion is a direct consequence of the unique nature of NFL coaching contracts as they are fully guaranteed.

In Arthur Smith’s case, the Falcons are obligated to honor the financial commitment they made to the coach. The fully guaranteed coaching contracts serve as a safeguard for coaches, allowing them financial stability even in the face of professional uncertainty.

This financial model is not unique to Arthur Smith. Other coaches, including Josh McDaniels and Frank Reich, have found themselves in similar situations despite being relieved of their coaching duties. While this system provides coaches with a financial safety net, it has drawn criticism from Dallas Cowboys standout Micah Parsons who labeled it a “scam.”

Arthur Smith’s journey with the Falcons was marked by moments of promise and patience from team owner Arthur Blank. Consecutive 7-10 finishes in the initial two seasons showcased Blank’s willingness to allow the coach time to implement his vision. However, with another 7-10 season, Blank ultimately decided to part ways with Smith, per CNN.

Why was Arthur Smith fired by the Falcons?

The decision to part ways with Arthur Smith as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons was grounded in two pivotal reasons. Primarily, the Falcons’ lackluster season performance and, secondly, Smith’s consistent failure to nurture a competitive franchise despite the presence of promising young talents.

Upon Smith’s arrival in January 2021, the Falcons were grappling with a three-year playoff drought. Despite expectations of instilling a winning culture, Smith’s tenure did not yield a single playoff appearance. Under his guidance, the team failed to secure more than two consecutive victories, with both of his last two seasons marked by at least a three-game losing streak. 

If we move to the second reason, the Falcons underwent quarterback changes throughout his three seasons, with Matt Ryan, Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ridder, and Taylor Heinicke taking turns under center. Despite drafting offensive talents like Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Bijan Robinson during Smith’s tenure, the team struggled to translate potential into consistent victories.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank also mentioned the growing disparity between expectations and on-field results as a key reason for Smith’s departure. The owner’s decision reflected a commitment to the team’s long-term success, in which he acknowledged the need for a change in leadership to achieve the desired outcomes.

The season, which commenced on a positive note with a 2-0 record, ultimately culminated in Smith’s departure; though, the farewell of the three-season coach became a source of significant relief and joy for Falcons fans.

What’s your take on the financial safety net of the NFL coaches regardless of their performance?

Shabiha Akter

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Shabiha, once a casual observer, has morphed into a die-hard NFL fan. She carefully dissects every play, trade, and strategy. Whether it's breaking down game highlights or predicting playoff outcomes, Shabiha is your go-to source for all things NFL.

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