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Bill O’Brien landing on NFL radar screen

Bill O'Brien AP

Last month, Penn State coach Bill O’Brien declined to commit to remaining with the Nittany Lions, given the hypothetical possibility that the NFL will come calling.  Soon, we’ll find out whether the hypothetical becomes actual.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that O’Brien may be on more NFL short lists than Oregon coach Chip Kelly.

O’Brien, per Mort, could draw interest from the Browns and the Eagles.

Though O’Brien’s buyout reportedly is in the range of $9 million, the lawyers could get involved in light of Mortensen’s explanation that, when O’Brien took the job, he was told that the Jerry Sandusky scandal was a criminal matter only, not an NCAA issue.

That misrepresentation could allow him, potentially, to get out of the contract with a reduced buyout — or perhaps with no buyout at all.

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14 Responses to “Bill O’Brien landing on NFL radar screen”
  1. maltarz says: Dec 30, 2012 1:46 PM

    I was under the impression that he had a clause in his contract that, if the NCAA levied sanctions, his contract was automatically extended by two (I believe) extra years.

    Seems like he was well aware sanctions were possible.

  2. pastabelly says: Dec 30, 2012 1:47 PM

    Billy needs to get out of Happy Valley. No quarterback plus scholarship sanctions make that job at PSU nearly impossible.

  3. rca26 says: Dec 30, 2012 1:49 PM

    By all indications, Bill O’Brien isn’t a Saban/Todd Graham/Tuberville pile of crap, so I would think he’s not going to be coaching in the NFL next year. If he were, I don’t think Penn State would have had such a good year. Rewarding his remaining players’ loyalty seemed like a big part of their success.

    But hey, you never know these days.

  4. sportsmeccabi says: Dec 30, 2012 1:51 PM

    I give this dude a lot of credit for taking on that challenge. Penn State was actually very competitive this year.

  5. kylecleric says: Dec 30, 2012 1:51 PM

    Bill O’Brien is better off staying with Penn St. He has the opportunity to make something very special there.

  6. steelcity333 says: Dec 30, 2012 1:57 PM

    Don’t go anywhere Bill. As a PSU fan, I don’t want you leaving, you did a hell of a job this year.

  7. beavertonsteve says: Dec 30, 2012 1:59 PM

    I don’t think there is a coach that has earned more respect in the NCAA or even the NFL in the last year. If he leaves for an NFL job 99% of that will be forgotten. He’d just be the guy that preached loyalty and perseverance to a group of current players and recruits and then abandoned them by bolting for greener pastures.

  8. donmcg2012 says: Dec 30, 2012 2:00 PM

    Why would he agree to an extension under those circumstances? Seems quite the opposite should apply.

  9. greggyd717 says: Dec 30, 2012 2:03 PM

    His contract was extended by as many years as the sanctions affected so it was extended by four. He absolutely knew something could happen. I also love how the first paragraph reads “Last month, Penn State coach Bill O’Brien declined to commit to remaining with the Nittany Lions, given the hypothetical possibility that the NFL will come calling.”

    Bill O’Brien came out after initially not answering the question and said following the team’s final game that he would be back in 2013. Let us not forget that any team that wants O’Brien would have to pay that huge buyout in addition to his salary. That’s asking a lot.

  10. dutchman1350 says: Dec 30, 2012 2:04 PM

    I think there is only me team he would leave for…New England. He knows NFL is very cut throat, and could be looking for another job in three years.

  11. eatitfanboy says: Dec 30, 2012 3:21 PM

    Kind of surprised by the factual errors in this story. While I am used to you coming to conclusions I don’t agree with, at least they are usually based upon accurate facts.

    First, after botching the initial non-denial denial, he did (as greggyd717 pointed out) later say he was not leaving. And as several have pointed out, his contract specifically addresses possible NCAA sanctions.

    Now I’ve seen enough coaching shenanigans in my time to know it always “never say never” with these guys, but the facts seem to make it much less likely that O’Brien leaves than you are making it sound.

  12. tdk24 says: Dec 30, 2012 3:26 PM

    Being on the Browns short list is not something to be proud of.

  13. thetooloftools says: Dec 30, 2012 3:32 PM

    If he leaves, after telling all those players to stay, he is really going to look bad. Penn State will sugar coat it as they do everything though. That school has no focus in upper management. They let “others” handle it (who may wind up in prison) and now that they have to call the shots, they don’t know how.

  14. nflofficeadmin says: Dec 30, 2012 7:58 PM

    Right up there with Bobby Petrino

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