"Black Monday" has become the term for the day following Week 17 of the NFL season, since it marks the day where a handful of coaches are relieved from their duties.
On Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired Dirk Koetter after three years on the job. The New York Jets also opted to cut Todd Bowles loose, ending his four-year tenure in the Meadowlands.
In the early hours of Monday, a handful of coaches were handed their walking papers. Here is the updated list of head coaches who were let go.
Marvin Lewis Out In Cincinnati
After 16 years with the Cincinnati Bengals, Marvin Lewis was relieved of his duties, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Despite his long-term loyalty to Lewis, owner Mike Brown made the call to fire Lewis, per Pelissero.
Lewis finishes his tenure with Cincinnati at 131-122-3. He led the Bengals to the postseason seven times, but Lewis was never able to earn a playoff victory. Because of this, the Bengals were often criticized for giving Lewis nine lives.
But after a third straight losing and non-playoff year in Cincinnati, Brown finally made the change that countless Bengal fans have called for. It's the start of a brand new era in Cincinnati.
In a somewhat surprising move, the Miami Dolphins fired Adam Gase after three seasons, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
The 40-year-old Gase finishes his tenure with a 23-25 record. He guided Miami to the playoffs in 2016 - their first playoff berth in eight years. Miami started out this season 3-0, but they crumbled down the stretch and finish at 7-9.
Gase is one of the best offensive-minded coaches in the NFL, and he won't be out of work long.
As many expected, the Denver Broncos fired head coach Vance Joseph on Monday, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
After its first back-to-back losing seasons, Denver now has fired head coach Vance Joseph, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2018
Joseph's tenure as Broncos head coach won't be remembered fondly. Denver recorded consecutive losing seasons for the first time in 46 years. Joseph's tenure in the Mile High City ends at 11-21. The Broncos will be on their fourth head coach in six years heading into 2019.
The Arizona Cardinals fired Steve Wilks after just one season, per Rapoport.
Source: #AZCardinals have fired coach Steve Wilks. Expected, but now official after his meeting with President Michael Bidwill. One and done.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 31, 2018
Wilks becomes part of the one and done club, as Rapoport noted. The Cardinals finished with the NFL's worst record (3-13), this season. They secured the first overall pick and will likely land prized prospect Nick Bosa.
Arizona has missed the playoffs in three straight years now. The new head coach will have to be patient in what will be a very lengthy rebuilding process.
What This Means
As mentioned above, Bowles and Koetter were also relieved from their duties, and the Green Bay Packers fired Mike McCarthy earlier in December. This is a reminder that the NFL is a brutal business for coaches.
It takes just one or two down years for a genius and successful head coach to lose his job. But this year, there were simply too many teams that didn't live up to expectations. As a result, many head coaches were hit with the blame and paid the price.