David Culley is officially out as head coach of the Houston Texans after one season, but he will be well-compensated for that year.
Per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the Texans still owe Culley another $17 million for the next three guaranteed years of his contract. When added to his $5 million base salary this season, that payout means Culley will make $22 million for his time in Houston.
The #Texans owe David Culley another $17 million over the next three years, per source.
So Culley walks away with roughly $22 million for one season as Houston's head coach.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 13, 2022
That windfall should at least soften the blow for Culley, though it's still hard to say he ever got a fair shot at the Texans job.
Culley took over the Texans last offseason amid a turbulent time for the franchise due to the sexual assault allegations against Deshaun Watson while coming off a 4-12 season. With much of that same roster minus its Pro Bowl quarterback, who remained on the roster but a healthy scratch for every game, Culley led the team to a 4-13 record. Many coaches would have done worse.
Culley took the high road with a statement via the Texans announcing his firing, but still referred to the whole matter as a "bottom-line business."
"I loved every minute of being the head coach of the Houston Texans. I appreciate the players and coaches for staying the course with me through the ups and downs of our season. I'm disappointed we didn't win more games and I won't have a chance to improve on the lessons I've learned, but I fully understand this is a bottom-line business and I didn't do enough. I want to thank the McNair Family and Nick Caserio for giving me this opportunity, I am forever grateful for the experience. I wish this team and organization the best, they are building a special program and I truly believe the future is bright for Texans fans."
Now, the Texans will enter the head coaching carousel with their dysfunction in full view for candidates, who will probably wonder just how high a bar they will have to clear and how much infighting they will have to steer through to avoid Culley's fate.
Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens will be enjoying the second of the two third-round picks they received thanks to the Texans hiring Culley from their staff, so at least there was one winner in all this.