But after a hurried, two-week coaching search, the departure effected Bills owner Terry Pegula more than anyone.
How, exactly, did he feel when Marrone opted out of his deal?
"Uh, shocked," Pegula said at Ryan's introductory press conference on Wednesday. "More than shocked, but hey, I liked Doug Marrone when he was here. He was probably the guy I talked to more than anybody. So he made that decision. He moved on."
If Pegula was truly shocked, perhaps he should have taken a deeper look at Marrone's beautifully executed contract, which forces the Bills to pay his 2015 salary regardless of whether or not he's coaching there.
But maybe Pegula was speaking more about the personal relationship he seems to have with a man who coached the team he bought back in September. It wouldn't be surprising if he had grand illusions of a tenured coach who could ease his transition into football ownership.
His quotes on Wednesday, though, put the Ryan hire into a completely different context. The former Jets coach is a lot of things, but professionally disloyal does not seem to be one of them. Unless he wants to get rid of Ryan, Pegula can rest knowing that he has a head coach he can count on for the life of Ryan's contract.
Offensive acumen be damned, Ryan's personality might have been worth more to Pegula at this point.