Black Monday, as the first Monday after Week 17 in the NFL is known, started fast today.
The Washingto Redskins fired Mike Shanahan while the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers axed their coaches.
On Sunday, the Cleveland Browns also fired Rob Chudzinski after one season as coach.
Shanahan out after four seasons
ASHBURN, Va. — Mike Shanahan's plan to restore order, professionalism and consistent success to the Washington Redskins disintegrated quickly in 2013, costing him his job Monday a day after the team finished a 3-13 season.
Shanahan was fired after a morning meeting with owner Dan Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen at Redskins Park, a formality expected for several weeks as the losses mounted and tension rose among Shanahan, Snyder and franchise player Robert Griffin III.
Shanahan went 24-40 in four seasons in Washington and had one year remaining on his five-year, $35 million contract.
Snyder will now be seeking his eighth head coach for his 16th season as an NFL owner — a span that includes just four winning seasons, two playoff victories and seven last-place finishes in the NFC East.
"Redskins fans deserve a better result," Snyder said in a statement. "We thank Mike for his efforts on behalf of the Redskins. We will focus on what it takes to build a winning team, and my pledge to this organization and to this community is to continue to commit the resources and talent necessary to put this team back in the playoffs."
Shanahan captured Super Bowls titles with quarterback John Elway and the Denver Broncos after the 1997 and 1998 seasons, but he won only one playoff game over his final 10 years with the club and was fired after the 2008 season.
Shanahan's career regular-season record is 170-138 over 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Raiders, Broncos and Redskins, but his two worst years have come in Washington — 5-11 in 2011 and this year's 3-13. The 2013 record was also the worst for the Redskins since 1994, and their season-ending eight-game losing streak is their longest in more than 50 years.
Shortly after his meeting with Snyder, Shanahan made a five-minute statement thanking fans, players, reporters and Snyder but did not take questions. He defended his efforts in rebuilding the Redskins while repeating his assertion that an NFL-levied salary cap penalty hindered his ability to improve the roster even more.
"We're better off today than we were four years ago," Shanahan said.
Lions fire coach Jim Schwartz after 5 seasons
ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The Detroit Lions have fired coach Jim Schwartz.
The Lions made the move Monday, one day after they ended their late-season slide with a loss at Minnesota.
Detroit flopped to a 7-9 record this year after a 6-3 record start put the franchise in a position to win a division title for the first time since 1993.
Schwartz was 29-51 over five seasons, including a 10-6 mark in 2011 that lifted the Lions to their only postseason appearance this century. The former Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator was hired in 2009 when Detroit was coming off the NFL's first 0-16 season. Schwartz had the team going in the right direction during his first three seasons before it took a step back the next two years.
Vikings fire coach Leslie Frazier
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings fired coach Leslie Frazier on Monday morning, one year after they made the playoffs and one day after they finished a 5-10-1 season.
After going 10-6 in 2012, the Vikings regressed this year, done in by a leaky defense and an ongoing inability to find stability at quarterback. Frazier finished 21-33-1 in three-plus seasons.
The 54-year-old Frazier had one season remaining on his contract.
"We have tremendous respect and appreciation for Leslie and what he has done for the Minnesota Vikings," owner Zygi Wilf said in a statement distributed by the team. "He stepped in and established a strong positive culture here, and he has been the consummate professional as our head coach and in this community. Making this change is difficult but what we determined is best for the organization."
Bucs fire coach Greg Schiano, GM Mark Dominik
TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have fired coach Greg Schiano and Mark Dominik following a 4-12 finish that left the team out of the playoffs for the sixth straight season.
The Bucs made the announcement Monday, a day after a season-ending 42-17 loss to the New Orleans dropped Schiano's record to 11-21 over two seasons.
"The results over the past two years have not lived up to our standards and we believe the time has come to find a new direction," Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer said in a brief statement.
"Mark has been a valued member of our organization for two decades and we respect the passion he showed for the Buccaneers during his time here," Glazer added. "We thank Greg for his hard work and effort the past two seasons, but we feel these moves are necessary in order to achieve our goals."
The Bucs announced the firing less than 30 minutes after closing the locker room, where players were clearing out their locker. The team met with the coaching staff earlier in the day and had not been informed of the dismissals before media was allowed into the locker room.