PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles have fired coach Doug Pederson, less than three years after he led them to the franchise’s only Super Bowl title.
Pederson was 42-37-1 in five seasons. He led the Eagles to two division titles and three playoff appearances before going 4-11-1 in 2020.
Pederson met with owner Jeffrey Lurie last week and again Monday.
“We are all very disappointed with the way our season went and eager to turn things around, not just for next season but also for the future of the franchise,” Lurie said in a statement.
“Coach Pederson and I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss what that collective vision would look like moving forward. After taking some time to reflect on these conversations, I believe it is in both of our best interests to part ways.”
Pederson’s loyalty to his coaching staff and frustration with the front office’s interference was a major issue, according to a person familiar with the decision. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the conversations, said Pederson and general manager Howie Roseman weren’t on the same page regarding many personnel moves.
Ultimately, Lurie chose Roseman over Pederson.
Pederson benched Carson Wentz for the final four games after the quarterback had the worst season of his career and started rookie Jalen Hurts. Pederson had said repeatedly he was confident he could fix Wentz and get him back on track. He won’t get that chance now.
Pederson was a starting quarterback in Philadelphia in 1999 and later served as an assistant coach under Andy Reid with the Eagles. The Eagles hired him in January 2016 after abruptly firing Chip Kelly a month earlier.
Pederson led the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory over New England in just his second season with backup quarterback Nick Foles filling in after Wentz was injured. Pederson and Foles again led the Eagles to a playoff win the following year after Wentz went down late in the season.
Pederson was heavily criticized for his decision to replace Hurts with third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter of a 20-14 loss to Washington in Week 17. Washington’s victory cost the New York Giants the NFC East title. The loss gave the Eagles the sixth overall pick in the draft instead of the ninth.
“I have known Doug and his family for more than 20 years and they will always be family to me,” Lurie said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and everything we have accomplished together over the last five seasons.”