After it was reported that Todd Grantham had spurned an opportunity with the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals and would remain as the defensive coordinator at Florida, we wrote the following:
While not specifically mentioned, it’s believed that Grantham, who made $1.4 million with the Gators in 2018 and was set to earn $1.5 million in 2019, will return to Gainesville for a second season on an enhanced contract. His 2018 salary, which made him the highest-paid assistant in UF history, was 10th nationally among FBS assistants and fifth in the SEC (second in the SEC East behind Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, who is now the head coach at Colorado).
As it turns out, it didn’t even take the Bengals sniffing around their coordinator before the Gators took action.
Early Tuesday afternoon, Florida confirmed that Dan Mullen‘s top defensive assistant will remain with the Gators “following a mutual courtship with the Bengals, who interviewed Grantham on Tuesday and Wednesday to become their defensive coordinator.” Last month, the football program revealed, Grantham had already agreed to a contract extension through the 2022 season that would pay him an average of $1.8 million annually.
Compensation of $1.8 million in 2018 would’ve tied Grantham, who had previously turned down overtures from the NFL while at Georgia (HERE) and Louisville (HERE), with Texas A&M’s Mike Elko as the fourth-highest-paid assistant in the country and second in the SEC. Interestingly, Elko has also been reported as a candidate for the job with the Bengals turned down by Grantham.
During his first season in Gainesville, Grantham had the Gators 21st nationally in scoring defense (20.4 points per game) and 26th total defense (339 yards per game) in 2018. The year prior to Grantham’s arrival, they were 72nd (27.3 ppg) and 31st (349 ypg) in those same categories.