Rumblings in the NFL media suggest Urban Meyer is at least considering taking a deep plunge into the waters of professional football from which very few college coaches with his resume have returned unscathed. The Jacksonville Jaguars now officially have an opening at head coach after parting ways with Doug Marrone yesterday and are the team linked with Meyer as reported by Ian Rapoport last weekend.
Meyer has a comfortable job right now as a well-liked college football analyst on FOX but appears to be feeling the coaching itch once more. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, however, Meyer would need a bit of convincing in the form of a substantial salary to put on the coach's headset again. He reported on Monday that Meyer would be looking for a salary of $12 million if he were to jump to the NFL:
"A league source tells PFT that Meyer is looking for $12 million per year. That’s not a crazy number, given the manner in which the market is going. The Panthers gave Matt Rhule nearly $9 million per year when he made the jump from Baylor to Carolina last year. And plenty of NFL coaches are getting paid in the eight figures annually."
On Tuesday morning, Rapoport re-entered the Meyer rumor ring to squash that particular one.
That's fairly strong wording for a report on a coach's salary, even one as high-profile as Meyer. Florio responded shortly afterwards with an equally strong tweet about why the NFL Network insider might report such a thing.
Meyer is technically an entry-level coach, but if Meyer were willing to come to Jacksonville, I imagine owner Shahid Khan would be more than happy to fork over whatever he wants. Still, someone doesn't want the notion that Meyer is asking for $12 million to persist in the realm of public opinion.
Even if this may all be for nothing, the Meyer sweepstakes are officially underway.