Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that former Jets and Bills HC Rex Ryan has agreed to a multi-year deal with ESPN and will be featured on “Sunday NFL Countdown” next season.
ESPN brought Ryan in as a guest analyst during the Super Bowl, but it appears as though he was impressive enough for them to make a multi-year commitment to him.
Ryan was expected to draw interest from cable networks after the Bills elected to fire him towards the end of last season, so this doesn’t come as a big surprise.
A few months ago, Ryan mentioned that while it “hurt” to be fired by the Bills, he has no hard feelings. Beyond that, Ryan didn’t rule out returning to the NFL as a coach at some point but he said he was looking forward to his new opportunity in television.
“I’m really not that bitter and maybe that $15 million is one of the reasons,” Ryan said, via the New York Daily News.. “I’m not bitter, man. … Yeah, I’m hurt. I was hurt by it. There’s no question. But bitter ain’t how I feel. I’m like, ‘Shoot, if they never wanted me here, then fine. I ain’t here. I’m not your coach anymore. Fine and dandy.’ But I got an opportunity in front of me that a lot of guys don’t get. I’m going to see where it takes me. Maybe this a different career and I really enjoy it. I’m hoping that’s the way it is. Maybe I get into and I don’t like it. Maybe they don’t like me. Maybe I go back to doing something I love, which is coaching. I’ll never say never. I’m a young guy still. … I’m healthy. But bitter? Nah. Not bitter, man. I’m really not.”
Ryan, 53, was hired by the Bills back in 2015 after he spent six years as the Jets’ head coach. For his career, Ryan is 61-66 (48 percent) for the Jets and Bills, which includes two playoff appearances and four playoff wins.