It’s old news that Bill O’Brien’s contract at Penn State has a two-tiered buyout. It’s new news that O’Brien wants yet another buyout.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, discussions have occurred to reduce the buyout even further than its current levels.
Prior reports indicated that O’Brien’s contract has a $7.73 million buyout for an NFL team, with a price tag of $13 million if he were to leave for another college job. Schefter pegs the numbers at $6.48 million and $11.08 million, respectively.
Regardless of the specifics, it would be far cheaper for an NFL team to secure O’Brien’s services. It could still be more than any NFL owner would want to spend, especially since the NFL owner would also have to pay O’Brien — and possibly buy out an existing head coach.
As a result, it makes sense that O’Brien would want to drive the number down. But what would be in it for Penn State? If the number was going to be lower, it should have been lower in the first place. Absent some consideration flowing to the Nittany Lions, there’s no reason to make it cheaper for O’Brien to leave the program in a lurch.