Urban Meyer has no NFL head coaching pedigree and the track record of longtime college head coaches who have made the jump to the pros is mixed.
However, Meyer still reportedly wants to get paid as much as the best coach in the league.
According to a source to Pro Football Talk, Meyer wants an annual salary of $12 million per year if he decides to make the jump to the NFL. It’s been widely reported that the Jacksonville Jaguars job is Meyer’s if he decides he wants it. Whether the Jags would pay him $12 million a year is another question.
The $12 million per year number also happens to be the reported annual salary of Patriots coach Bill Belichick, the most successful coach in NFL history. It’s also more than other Super Bowl champion coaches such as Seattle’s Pete Carroll ($11M), Jon Gruden ($10M), and Sean Payton ($9.8).
Now, it needs to be said that the base salary figures may not be an altogether accurate picture of what NFL coaches truly earn, considering many of them have performance and tenure triggers in their contracts that may push their salaries well above the annual baseline payout.
But how crazy is it for Meyer to ask for $12 million?
The Carolina Panthers gave Matt Rhule nearly $9 million when he made the jump to the league, Pro Football Talk reports. If a coach like Matt Rhule can get that much why shouldn’t Meyer ask for more?
Urban Meyer is one of only 15 college coaches to win at least three national championships. He also owns the third-best all-time winning percentage at .854. Matt Rhule was good, but obviously nowhere near Meyer in terms of college-level achievement.
So, clearly, Meyer is well within his rights in asking for something significantly above $9 million.
Jacksonville is probably the best job in the league right now. The Jags have the #1 pick and Trevor Lawrence waiting for them. They have ten other draft picks, almost all of them very high. Plus, they have somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million in cap space.
Will Jacksonville decide that Meyer is worth the same annual salary as Belichick? That remains to be seen.