With the NFL’s “Black Monday” looming in less than 12 hours, it is no surprise that Bill O’Brien rumors have again resurfaced. According to an ESPN report on their NFL Countdown show from insider Chris Mortensen, O’Brien is on several team’s short lists to fill their impending coaching vacancies. According to Mortensen’s report, one reason O’Brien may have an interest in leaving PSU after just one season is that he was told by PSU officials when he was hired that the Sandusky scandal was largely a police matter, and the NCAA would not become involved. Oops.
O’Brien is said to have a very short list of teams he would consider leaving PSU for, which would seem to indicate that he is not actively looking to skip town less than 12 months after being hired. Two teams that Mortensen specifically mentioned are the Cleveland Browns, and Philadelphia Eagles. It is not known if either organization is one that would intrigue O’Brien. The reported $9 million buy out also looms large, as does a contract that guarantees O’Brien, at minimum, in the neighborhood of $2.5 million annually for 7 more seasons in Happy Valley.
I have also been told that Penn State was not “caught by surprise” by these rumors, but no indication was given whether that means PSU is actively involved in renegotiating O’Brien’s contract. It is also worth noting that ESPN did not report that O’Brien WAS leaving, just that several NFL franchises with openings have targeted him.
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