O’Brien’s NFL buyout with Penn St. reduced

Penn State coach Bill O’Brien amended his contract last summer with the intent to lower the buyout any NFL team would have to pay the school and make it easier for him to jump to the pros, a copy of the Nittany Lions coach’s contract provided to ESPN reveals, and there already have been conversations to reduce the NFL buyout even further.

The restated contract shows O’Brien changed the formula for his buyout and reduced the price of an NFL buyout from $19.33 million last year to $6.48 million for this year, per the contract, whereas the buyout another school would have to pay Penn State for O’Brien is $11.08 million.

One Penn State official said O’Brien’s representatives recently approached the school about potentially reducing the NFL buyout even further, a source said, though it’s unclear why the school would be willing to make it even easier for its head football coach to leave. O’Brien drew varying degrees of interest last year from the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and San Diego Chargers.

With the end of the NFL season near, O’Brien is expected to be one of the hottest head-coaching candidates out there and his contract now is designed to make it more alluring for an NFL team such as the Houston Texans to hire him. O’Brien, however, is said to be torn about whether to leave Penn State.

  • ESPN NFL Insider
  • Joined ESPN in 2009
  • Former president of the Pro Football Writers of America and the author of four books

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