Editor's note: Three weeks after we published this story, Marvin Lewis agreed to a two-year contract with the Bengals. The team said he'd remain head coach through the 2019 season.
CINCINNATI -- When the news broke that Bengals coach Marvin Lewis would be leaving at the end of the year, the fan reaction was swift.
The general sentiment, at least on social media: Good riddance.
Some called it a Christmas miracle.
Maybe fans don't need to get worked up over this after all. Lewis said he hasn't made a decision on whether he'll leave Cincinnati in a post-game conference Sunday.
Still, others said they wished he'd been fired instead. (Many of those comments had expletives, so we won't share them here.)
Marvin was never going to be fired.
The contract expires in three weeks. Can you just take the win and be happy?
— Lance McAlister (@LanceMcAlister) December 17, 2017
At least some recognized the work he's done for community organizations.
Marvin Lewis has been really good in the community with his foundation providing awards, a chance to meet him & @Bengals players, & a free day at the @CincinnatiZoo (with their families) for all @IamCPS A & B honor roll students. A great event and solid affirmation for these kids
— Bruce Demske (@BruceDemske) December 17, 2017
Sports reporters, commentators and former players also struck a kinder tone.
After 15 seasons in Cincinnati, Marvin Lewis is planning to leave the Bengals after this season to pursue opportunities elsewhere, league sources tell ESPN.
More on Sunday NFL Countdown.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 17, 2017
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) December 17, 2017
Marvin Lewis took moribund #Bengals franchise and turned it into fairly consistent playoff contender in division with 3 Super Bowl winners and conference with 3 top 15 all-time QBs during his tenure. His Pittsburgh critics never mention anything but 0-7 in playoffs. Whatever. https://t.co/XmsNmveZkk
— Rob Rossi (@Real_RobRossi) December 17, 2017
Back to #Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. When I discussed his future with Lewis last night, he told me being a GM is “something I would listen to.” Both sides seem at peace with a new start. Keep an eye on ST coach Darrin Simmons as a possible replacement.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 17, 2017
Marvin Lewis will take a lot of flack for how this season has played out and that’s fair. But he helped dig Cincinnati out of the NFL’s embarrassing basement and guided them to the playoffs in 6 of 7 seasons. That matters.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 17, 2017
What do you think of Marvin's departure and his legacy in Cincinnati? Call our Feedback Friday hotline at 513-852-4998.