Rumors surrounding Bill O'Brien's NFL future followed him into 2013, as expected, with Sports Illustrated's Peter King tweeting this morning that the Penn State coach is said to be considering interviewing for pro jobs.
Happy Valley alert: I hear Bill O'Brien is strongly considering interviewing with an NFL team.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) January 1, 2013
It's a very vague statement, of course, but as many have said, King is usually very plugged into what is happening in the NFL. Along the same interview lines, David Jones of the Patriot-News is reporting that Cleveland, Arizona and Philadelphia are all planning on interviewing O'Brien and that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie is "particularly very intrigued" in the former Patriots offensive coordinator. Jones also points out that a private donor could be called upon to give the coach a raise so that he stays at Penn State.
The O'Brien camp has not spoken on these new rumors since his agent, Joe Linta, said on Sunday that no teams had contacted his client about any head coaching vacancies.
One thing that would get in the way of Bill O'Brien taking any NFL job would be the potential buyout of his contract which has been stated to be around $9 million. According to Fox Sports, however, it might be much more:
Source w/ knowledge of Bill O'Brien's contract told me his buyout at Penn St closer to $19 million than the $9-mil figure widely reported.— Bill Reiter (@foxsportsreiter) January 1, 2013
The $19 million figure would imply that O'Brien would have to buyout the years that were added onto his contract after the sanctions were handed down by the NCAA in July. No buyout conditions based on those additional years are explicitly stated in his contract although it had been reported that the extension would be not be subject to a buyout.
Negotiations could be made in the event that O'Brien wanted to leave the university, but even taking half out of the $19 million sum would still leave a pretty penny for the coach or an NFL suitor to pay to get out of State College.
As always, stay tuned to this StoryStream as this story progresses.
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