Bill O’Brien‘s name came up in the NFL coaching carousel this past offseason. It undoubtedly will again after the job he did in one season at Penn State, but the university is doing its best to keep O’Brien around for as long as possible.
The university released an amended contract for the coach on Thursday, which you can view in its entirety HERE, that takes him through Jan. 6, 2017.
O’Brien is now scheduled to make about $1.93 million in base salary beginning July 1. That’s a nearly $1 million raise from the $950,000 he made this past year. In July of 2014, O’Brien’s base pay will dip to a little over $1.13 million before rising again to $1.65 million in 2015. Beginning in 2016, O’Brien is set to receive annual raises of 5 percent.
O’Brien also gets $1 million a year in additional compensation for radio and TV appearances as well as $350,000 a year for apparel. Adding those incentives in the deal, O’Brien is in line to make around $3.3 million for 2013. There are also performance-based incentives for bowl games and conference championships, and even though those are out of the equation for the next few years thanks to the NCAA, O’Brien can still earn additional compensation upward of $200,000.
Not too shabby, and it makes O’Brien among the highest paid coaches in the Big Ten — just behind Urban Meyer and Kirk Ferentz.
But the amended deal also has a buyout clause should O’Brien depart for the NFL that is made up of only his base salary multiplied by the years left on his contract; if O’Brien were to leave for another job not with the NFL (not likely), the contract tacks on the other incentives as part of the buyout. The amount of O’Brien’s buyout will dip significantly — by about half — once he gets into 2014-15. Whether that makes a difference on the matter of him staying or going remains to be seen.