Bill O’Brien has been a hot name for NFL teams looking for new head coaches, but to acquire his services a team is going to have to pay a hefty price.
O’Brien’s contract includes a $6.48 million buyout. Tack on an expected salary of at least $4 million for O’Brien in 2014, plus the buyout and we are talking about one pricey contract.
The Detroit Lions, who may or may not stick with Jim Schwartz for another season would be looking at spending even more thanks to eating the remaining money on Schwartz’s contract which is rumored to be around $12 million after this season.
The Detroit Lions front office reportedly wanted to terminate Schwartz after a disappointing 4-12 season in 2012, but deemed the buyout on his contract to expensive at $18 million a season ago.
For the Detroit Lions, that would mean paying something in the neighborhood of $40 million to terminate Schwartz’s contract, pay the buyout to Penn State and a new contract for O’Brien.
Perhaps Lions ownership has reached a place where he is willing to fire Schwartz despite the millions still owed, but would they be willing to pay the extra cash to land a name like O’Brien?
Given Bill Ford Jr.’s reluctance to buyout Schwartz a season ago, it would seem unlikely. From a money standpoint, what is left on Schwartz’s deal plus the money that would be owed to Penn State is about a half million dollars more than the money Ford Jr. reportedly didn’t want to eat to can Schwartz a year ago.
It’s important to note that Jim Schwartz has yet to be terminated and could very well survive another season as the Lions head coach.
However, all signs point to 2013 being his last season as the Lions head coach with recent news that the front office had plans to let him go after 2012 paired with an equally disappointing season in 2013 where the Lions failed to reach the playoffs again despite having at least a share in first place in the NFC North for most of the season.
After another disappointing finish to a season with a roster that has been deemed “super bowl talented”, maybe Ford will be more willing to pay up for the right guy if it is the right fit whether that be O’Brien or not.