The good news for Vikings coach Leslie Frazier is that he has signed a multi-year extension. The unknown news for the rest of us is the number of years the extension covers.
The duration of the extension will drive Frazier’s job security over the next few seasons. If it’s a two-year extension, for example, he could in theory be on the hot seat as soon as 2014, since there would be only a one-year buyout. If it’s a four-year extension, Frazier would likely be safe through at least 2015, given what it would cost to pay him to not coach the team for the balance of the deal.
That’s precisely what happened with Bears coach Lovie Smith after an NFC title game appearance in 2010. He wanted a four-year extension, taking him through 2015. He instead got a two-year extension, taking him through 2013.
If he had gotten a longer-term deal, Smith most likely wouldn’t have been fired with three years left on his contract.
So until we know how many years were added to Frazier’s three-year deal that went through 2013, we won’t know whether he’ll need to worry in 2014 or at some point after that.
Still, he won’t have to worry in 2013. His performance in two years as the head coach means that, barring a complete and total disaster, he’ll be around for at least two more.
UPDATE 6:55 p.m. ET: As it turns out, Frazier’s security is unclear because he hasn’t gotten an extension at all, contract to the Associated Press report. Instead, the Vikings picked up a one-year option on his existing deal, putting him under contract through 2014.