Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula decided to fire Rex Ryan when the coach asked about his future beyond this season heading into the team's season finale.
"I was asked a point-blank question, and based on the discussions we've been having all year, I felt it was better to tell Rex we were going in a different direction," Pegula said.
In his season-ending news conference Monday, Doug Whaley denied having any involvement in Ryan's firing last week.
"We just finished our weekly phone conversation with Terry, myself and Rex," Whaley said of Ryan's firing last Tuesday. "Rex asked to speak to [Pegula] privately. After that, I was informed that Rex would no longer be our coach. I wasn't privy to the conversation so I cannot get into those details.
"I look at it this way: I'm the GM of the football operation. I was told by my boss that I would no longer be working with a certain person. My role is not to figure out why. My role is to take that information and go forward and put this organization in the best possible way to win football games. So for me, I did not ask."