So how much will former Jets and Bills coach Rex Ryan make over the next three years as an employee of ESPN? Probably not a dime.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Ryan’s contract with the Bills has offset language that applies not only to other coaching jobs but also to broadcasting jobs. Thus, with $5.5 million due to Ryan for each of the next three years, the biggest winners in light of Ryan’s employment at ESPN are owners Terry and Kim Pegula, who will be getting credit for every dollar Ryan earns at ESPN, up to $5.5 million per year.
It’s possible that ESPN will be paying Ryan even more than $5.5 million per year. But that would be a surprise, especially in light of the ongoing financial issues at ESPN that likely will be sparking widespread job reductions for on-air talent soon. Even if that were to happen, Ryan would be losing up to $5.5 million per year for every dollar he gains from ESPN.
Of course, Ryan benefits in ways other than financial from his new job at ESPN. By establishing his TV chops, Ryan lays the foundation to make even more money beyond 2019, when his buyout expires. By remaining in the public eye, he possibly positions himself for other coaching jobs.