Packers, Mike McCarthy Working On Extension

The Packers have approached head coach Mike McCarthy about extending his contract, reports Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. McCarthy, who has been leading Green Bay since 2006, has a career record of 82-45-1 and won the Super Bowl in 2010. He is currently signed through the 2015 season at a salary of about $6.5MM annually.

Head coaching salary figures are often kept under wraps, so any sort of comparison or estimation often proves difficult. Bill Belichick is thought to be the highest-paid coach at around $11MM per year, while Pete Carroll and Sean Payton each earn $8-9MM annually. A third tier of coaches — Tom Coughlin, Jeff Fisher, Andy Reid, and John Harbaugh — reportedly make $6.5-7MM each year. With a sustained record of success, and a championship under his belt, I would expect a McCarthy extension to have an AAV in the neighborhood of $7.5-8MM.

However, while it might seem obvious that the Packers would want to retain a highly successful coach like McCarthy, it may not be that simple. McCarthy’s boss, general manager Ted Thompson, is signed through the 2016 season, and some wonder how long Thompson wants to maintain the high-stress job of an NFL GM. When asked whether he would assure the team that he would stay on through the remainder of his contract, Thomspon replied, “I don’t look at it like that. It’s important for me to try to do a good job today.” One could read that statement simply as a veteran personnel man using a “one day at a time” cliché , or as an executive who sound non-committal.

If Thompson were to step away, it would create something of a quandary for the Packers. Team president Mark Murphy, who joined the team in 2007, inherited both McCarthy and Thompson. While all reports indicate that the power triangle exhibits a respectful working relationship, it would not make sense for Murphy to give McCarthy an extension, which could “potentially undermine the organization’s effective delineation of authority” if Thompson did retire. In other words, a potential Thompson replacement at general manager would want to have hiring and firing power — even if the new GM wanted to retain McCarthy, he wouldn’t want the coach’s contract outlasting his.

A departure by Thompson — whose tactics have not only been copied, but created something of an executive tree throughout the league — would create an attractive vacancy in Green Bay. Several candidates with Packers ties would be linked to the position, with current Chiefs GM John Dorsey, Packers contract negotiator Russ Ball, and Packers director of pro personnel Eliot Wolf among them. But the most intriguing option would certainly be Seahawks GM John Schneider, the former Packers Director of Football Administration, for whom the Green Bay position is reportedly a “dream job.” Schneider, who doesn’t wield full power in Seattle what with the presence of Carroll, could potentially make the jump to Green Bay if the offer was lucrative enough.

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