John Benton

Saints Hire Klint Kubiak As OC

FEBRUARY 12: With the Super Bowl now in the books, the agreement between Kubiak and the Saints has indeed been finalized, Pelissero’s colleague Ian Rapoport notes. Kubiak’s second coordinator gig will take place in New Orleans in 2024 as part of a staff which has undergone a number of changes.

FEBRUARY 11: Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network confirms that Klint Kubiak’s deal with the Saints is expected to be finalized after today’s Super Bowl (via Kevin Patra of Kubiak reportedly plans to add former Bears quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko to his staff — Chicago dismissed Janocko at the end of the season — and longtime O-line coach John Benton is also likely to be hired, as previously reported.

FEBRUARY 2: Another Kyle Shanahan staffer is on track to move up the ladder. The Saints are working on a deal to hire Klint Kubiak as their next offensive coordinator, according to’s Adam Schefter.

No agreement between Kubiak and the Saints can be announced until after Super Bowl LVIII, with the current 49ers pass-game coordinator preparing for the game. Following the Super Bowl, the deal can go through. But it appears the Saints have decided on a name to conclude their long-running OC search.

This will bring a second chance for Kubiak, who spent the 2021 season as the Vikings’ OC. Succeeding his father (Gary) as Minnesota’s play-caller, Kubiak needed to look elsewhere after Mike Zimmer‘s firing. He landed in Denver, and while that brought a Colorado return for the second-generation coach, the Nathaniel Hackett-guided season produced disastrous results. Kubiak, 36, has managed to land on his feet, working alongside QBs coach Brian Griese as Shanahan’s top assistants on offense.

The Saints’ OC search produced some twists and turns. Four interviewees bowed out early or accepted jobs with other teams. Shane Waldron (Bears), Dan Pitcher (Bengals) and Zac Robinson (Falcons) landed OC gigs; Jerrod Johnson agreed to stay with the Texans. This led to a search that will end up taking more than five weeks to complete, with the Kubiak agreement not becoming official until after the 49ers’ eighth Super Bowl.

Kubiak will follow Matt LaFleur, Mike McDaniel and Mike LaFleur as Shanahan-tree coaches to have moved into HC or OC positions. The Saints also interviewed Griese, but they will go with the more experienced coach. Kubiak also barely qualifies as a Shanahan tree branch, though the younger Shanahan’s offense is derived from the attack Mike Shanahan and Kubiak’s father used with the Broncos in the 1990s and 2000s. The Shanahan-Sean McVay-based attack continues to succeed, and the Saints are the latest team to buy in.

With Zimmer a defense-based HC, the Kubiaks served as the Vikings’ play-callers in back-to-back seasons. Returning to the sideline in 2020 to replace Kevin Stefanski, Gary Kubiak spent one season as Minnesota’s OC. Klint took over a year later. The Vikings ranked 14th in scoring in 2021, an 8-9 campaign, and 12th in total offense. That year brought Justin Jefferson‘s first All-Pro nod, a 10-touchdown Adam Thielen slate and Dalvin Cook keeping his 1,100-yard rushing streak intact.

Nothing especially positive can be said about the 2022 Broncos’ offense, but Hackett did give Kubiak a play-calling shot — over OC Justin Outten — as that season went south. This season has obviously brought a Kubiak bounce-back effort. Brock Purdy has continued his stunning ascent from his Mr. Irrelevant status, becoming a Pro Bowler and helping the 49ers make up for their Trey Lance misstep. Purdy’s 9.6 yards per attempt is the best mark by a full-season starter since the 1950s, with Kurt Warner‘s 2000 number (9.9) coming in 11 games. The 49ers’ passing attack also nearly became the sixth team in NFL history to see three pass catchers eclipse 1,000 yards, seeing Deebo Samuel‘s October shoulder injury impede that path. Brandon Aiyuk reached a career-high 1,342 yards this season, while George Kittle surpassed 1,000 as well.

This offseason brought new territory for the Saints, who had not changed offensive coordinators since promoting Pete Carmichael in 2009. Carmichael served as one of the longest-tenured coordinators in NFL history, but after two seasons calling the plays post-Sean Payton, Carmichael received his walking papers (Payton has since hired Carmichael in Denver). The Saints did rank ninth in scoring and 14th in total offense this season, but the unit submitted inconsistent work during a 7-10 campaign. Kubiak will be charged with elevating the Derek Carr-led attack in 2024.

Here is how the Saints’ OC search wrapped:

Coaching Notes: Vrabel, Fangio, Dolphins, Eagles, Marrone, Saints, Titans, Bills

Seeing as Mike Vrabel went from highly regarded HC to trade candidate to bumped off this year’s carousel entirely, potential reasoning behind the ex-Titans boss’ standing is certainly relevant. Vrabel’s old-school, intimidating style may have been a factor in him not landing a job, with a GM going so far as to mention to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini this even could even extend to his physical stature. The former NFL linebacker also may have found himself pigeonholed as a slightly older candidate, even at 48, than some owners wanted, Russini offered during an appearance on The Athletic Football Show. Only Jim Harbaugh (60) and Dan Quinn (53) was older among this year’s eight HC hires. Vrabel interviewed for the Falcons, Panthers and Chargers’ jobs.

Some teams were interested in hiring Vrabel as a defensive coordinator, Russini adds, but the six-year NFL HC has not been connected to any specific coordinator jobs. With not many DC positions left, Vrabel seems likely to join Bill Belichick as coaches on the outside looking in this year. Vrabel may stand to have a better chance of landing another HC job moving forward, with Belichick set to turn 72 in April. For now, however, he is out of the league. The reports about Vrabel clashing with Titans ownership may have impacted his chances as well.

Here is the latest from the coaching ranks:

  • On the subject of coaching clashes, Vic Fangio‘s style did not appear to draw universal praise while with the Dolphins. Jalen Ramsey, Jevon Holland and rookie Cam Smith expressed issues with the veteran DC,’s Adam Beasley notes. While praising Fangio’s old-school demands, Tyreek Hill also relayed a rumor about others indicating behind closed doors the team’s 2023 DC wanted to return to Philadelphia. Previously mentioned as rubbing some in Miami the wrong way, Fangio is indeed back with the Eagles. The Dolphins have hired ex-Ravens D-line coach Anthony Weaver to replace him.
  • Preparing to hire Klint Kubiak as offensive coordinator, the Saints will not extend Doug Marrone‘s second stint with the team into the 2024 season. In place as the Saints’ offensive line coach from 2022-23, Marrone will not be asked back, Nick Underhill of tweets. The Saints have veteran O-line coach John Benton as a frontrunner to fill the spot,’s Luke Johnson adds. Benton, 60, would be a logical hire. He worked as Gary Kubiak‘s O-line coach for eight years in Houston and was the 49ers’ O-line coach under Kyle Shanahan from 2017-20. After following Robert Saleh to New York in 2021, Benton spent this past season out of football.
  • Former Falcons assistants Steve Jackson and Frank Bush will be part of new Titans DC Dennard Wilson‘s staff,’s Turron Davenport tweets. A former Texans DC and interim Jets DC, Bush was on Arthur Smith‘s Falcons staff as linebackers coach for three years. This will be a return trip for Jackson, who has a history as a player and a coach with the franchise. A former Oilers cornerback, Jackson finished his career in Super Bowl XXXIV with the Titans. He later served as assistant DBs coach under Mike Mularkey in Tennessee from 2016-17. Jackson spent the past two seasons with the Falcons.
  • The Bills are moving senior defensive assistant Al Holcomb to a position coach role. The former Panthers DC will replace Bobby Babich as Buffalo’s linebackers coach,’s Alaina Getzenberg notes. Babich is now Buffalo’s DC. Holcomb, who worked with Sean McDermott in Carolina, joined the Bills last year. The AFC East champs are also promoting Marcus West from assistant defensive line coach to D-line coach to replace Eric Washington, who became the Bears’ DC last month.

NFC West Rumors: 49ers QBs, Bullen, Benton, Hopkins

If the 49ers are familiar with one thing, it’s injured quarterbacks. When season starter Trey Lance went down with a season-ending ankle injury only two games into the season, San Francisco reverted back to Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo would start the next 10 games before suffering a foot injury that would require season-ending surgery. This led the team to start rookie Brock Purdy, the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Purdy responded to being forced into the spotlight with five straight wins in his starts to end the season. He would then help the 49ers win their first two playoff games before ultimately falling to the Eagles in the NFC Championship after suffering an elbow injury that is expected to take six months to recover.

With the emergence of Purdy this season, San Francisco seems renewed in their desires to move Garoppolo, something they attempted to no avail last offseason. Even with Garoppolo out of the picture, what happens when both Lance and Purdy return to full health? That question was posed to Matt Barrows of The Athletic this week in a Q&A with 49ers fans.

Barrows seems to believe that there will be no controversy when both players are healthy. Purdy presumably won’t be healthy until maybe the start of training camp. Until then, Lance will perform as the team’s lead quarterback in the spring. Once Purdy is back in the picture, though, Barrows asserts that he will be the 49ers’ first-team quarterback. Purdy showed an ability to operate within the 49ers offense and play winning football. Lance, on the other hand, hasn’t been able to prove that he can stay on the football field, unfortunately. Dating back to his final collegiate season at North Dakota State, in the past three years, out of a possible 44 games, Lance has appeared in nine.

Throughout the spring, Lance will be under center earning some much needed snaps with the 49ers offense. Once Purdy is healthy, Barrows is under the impression that he will man the starting quarterback position over Lance.

Here are a few other rumors from around the NFC West, starting with a couple of coaching changes:

  • After 11 years coaching in the NFL and four years in Arizona, former Cardinals outside linebackers coach Charlie Bullen will be leaving the league to become the outside linebackers coach/pass rush coordinator at the University of Illinois, according to the school’s official Twitter account. Bullen has experience in the Big Ten as a University of Iowa alumnus and will be returning to the state in which he grew up.
  • The Rams are looking to replace offensive line coach Kevin Carberry, whom they dismissed alongside several other coaching assistants following the 2022 season. One candidate they will be considering is former Jets offensive line coach John Benton, as reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Benton has seen a rough 12 months, being arrested and charged with DUI in March 2022 and being dismissed by head coach Robert Saleh after his second year with the team. Benton still provides plenty of experience having served in the position for five franchises, including the Rams back when they resided in St. Louis. If he were hired to coach in Los Angeles, he would be reunited with offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, who joined Sean McVay‘s staff a little over a week ago.
  • Cardinals star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been rumored to be available in the trade market this offseason. For what it’s worth, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported this weekend that Hopkins was in the team facility on Friday and met with the team’s new general manager Monti Ossenfort.

Jets To Interview Darrell Bevell, Nick Caley For OC Position

Not long after being mentioned as a key component of the Jets’ offensive coordinator search, Darrell Bevell is indeed in line to interview for the job. The Jets are planning to speak with the Dolphins’ quarterbacks coach, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

In addition to Bevell, the team is planning to meet with Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley, Albert Breer of tweets. The Caley interview will take place Tuesday. The Jets are looking to replace Mike LaFleur, whom the team parted ways with after two seasons last week. LaFleur is expected to join Sean McVay‘s Rams staff.

Bevell, 53, has been an NFL OC dating back to the 2000s. Prior to the rare feat of Bevell becoming the interim HC for separate teams (the Lions and Jaguars) in back-to-back years, he enjoyed more memorable OC tenures with the Vikings (2006-10) and Seahawks (2011-17). Brett Favre‘s former QBs coach was on board as Seattle’s OC during the Russell WilsonMarshawn Lynch partnership’s run, which featured the team’s consecutive Super Bowl berths. The Seahawks fired Bevell following the 2017 season, but he has remained a sought-after staffer. Bevell and Robert Saleh were each on the Seahawks’ staff from 2011-13.

Bevell’s most recent work may be why he is viewed by some as the early favorite for Gang Green’s play-calling gig. Tua Tagovailoa took a substantial leap this season under Mike McDaniel, finishing a concussion-marred campaign third in the NFL in QBR. Tagovailoa threw 25 touchdown passes despite finishing only 12 games. McDaniel calls the Dolphins’ plays, but Bevell provided the rookie HC and first-time OC Frank Smith with considerable experience.

Caley does not bring close to Bevell’s experience, but the Patriots assistant saw a responsibility bump during the team’s unusual post-Josh McDaniels season. Caley, 39, has been New England’s tight ends coach since 2017 and is on the radar for the Pats’ OC role. Though, Bill O’Brien looks like the frontrunner here. Although the Pats may not be wild about Caley joining the Jets, teams can no longer block position coaches from interviewing for coordinator roles.

The Jets also have interviewed former Colts OC Marcus Brady and Eagles passing-game coordinator Kevin Patullo. The Brady interview satisfies the Rooney Rule requirement that the team interview at least one external minority candidate.

Gang Green moved on from LaFleur but is believed to be planning to retain quarterbacks coach Rob Calabrese, Aaron Wilson of KPRC tweets. The team did, however, dismiss offensive line coach John Benton. An NFL O-line coach since 2003, Benton has served in this capacity for five teams. He worked with LaFleur on Kyle Shanahan‘s 49ers staff for four seasons prior to joining the Jets. The Jets are also looking to replace Miles Austin, who is appealing an NFL suspension for gambling, and assistant D-line coach Greg Scruggs. The latter joined Wisconsin’s staff as defensive line coach last week.

Jets Notes: Jones, Draft, Cashman

The Jets could still use an edge rusher, and many assume they’ll look to the draft for pass-rush help. However, ESPN’s Rich Cimini writes that the team flirted with the idea of adding veteran defensive end Chandler Jones.

Jets fans are plenty familiar with Jones thanks to his time with the Patriots, but it’s been a while since he was in the AFC East. The defensive end compiled a whopping 60 sacks through his first four seasons in Arizona, and after being limited to only one sack in five games in 2020, he returned with a 10.5-sack campaign in 2021. So, naturally, he was a popular name in free agency, and while the Jets considered a pursuit, the veteran defender ended up landing in Las Vegas on a three-year, $51MM deal.

At the moment, the Jets have Carl Lawson and John Franklin-Myers slotted in at defensive end. While they’re a fine duo, Cimini notes that Lawson is coming off a major injury and Franklin-Myers may be better suited for defensive tackle.

Ultimately, Cimini opines that the Jets will take a pass rusher with either the No. 4 or No. 10 pick, suggesting Travon Walker, Jermaine Johnson II, and Kayvon Thibodeaux could all be options.

More notes out of New Jersey…

  • As Cimini writes, the Jets are one of only four teams without a former 1,000-yard receiver (or tight end) on their roster, but the only significant move they’ve made at the position is re-signing receiver Braxton Berrios. The writer believes that the front office will ultimately add a “midlevel free agent” wideout while considering using one of their first-round picks on the draft’s top receiver, perhaps USC’s Drake London or Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson. Cimini also notes that the team was monitoring the Robert Woods situation, but the front office ultimately thought his age was a “turnoff.”
  • The Texans acquired linebacker Blake Cashman from the Jets last week, and we’re now learning what the Gang Green got in return. According to Aaron Wilson of (on Twitter), the Jets acquired a 2023 sixth-round pick. The sixth-rounder originally belonged to the 49ers.
  • Jets offensive line coach John Benton was arrested and charged with DUI last Thursday in New Jersey, according to Cimini (on Twitter). A New York Jets spokesperson said “We are aware of the situation and have no further comment” (via

Jets Hire Mike LaFleur As OC

Robert Saleh is the Jets’ new head coach, and he’s taking his SF friends with him. 49ers passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur will serve as his new offensive coordinator, as Mike Silver of tweets. Furthermore, Niners offensive line coach John Benton will take on the same job with the Jets while also managing the run game. 

[RELATED: Jets Hire Robert Saleh]

Saleh will also hire at least two more Niners offensive assistants — Greg Knapp has been tapped as the QB coach while Rob Calabrese will be the pass game specialist for Gang Green.

There were seven vacancies in this cycle, and six of those teams requested interviews with Saleh. The Jets came away with the 41-year-old, who is regarded as one of the league’s sharpest defensive minds. Under Saleh’s watch, the 49ers surrendered just 169.2 passing yards per contest in 2019. And, this past year, his unit had the fifth lowest total in total yards surrendered.

The Jets gave Saleh the freedom to build his own staff, something that they were reluctant to do for certain candidates in their last search. For LaFleur, it’s a chance to spread his wings — he’s been with Shanahan since 2014, dating back to his internship with the Browns.

Extra Points: Cardinals, Patriots, Jags, 49ers

An offseason union between quarterback Jay Cutler and the Cardinals wouldn’t be “shocking,” opines Peter King of, who adds that a multi-year deal with incentives would make some sense for both sides. At first glance, Cutler signing — and presumably becoming a backup to Carson Palmer — appears unlikely, but as King notes, Arizona head coach Bruce Arians isn’t afraid to take chances on certain veteran players. Still, King is probably speculating rather than reporting, and Cutler is likely to target a starting job after (almost assuredly) being released by the Bears.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Although one recent report indicated agent Don Yee would lead the hunt for a Jimmy Garoppolo trade partner, Yee is planning to let the Patriots and Bill Belichick handle such negotiations, as Tony Grossi of writes. “I don’t really have any information at this moment of time about that,” Yee said. “Everybody’s getting ready for the combine as well as preparing for free agency. I don’t know anything at all about what the Patriots plan to do, nor would I even presume to have any suggestion as to what they should do.” Garoppolo is expected to be the top target for a number of clubs this offseason, including the Browns, Bears, and 49ers.
  • Pending free agent safety Jonathan Cyprien admitted he’s “kind of excited, kind of nervous” about reaching the open market, adding that he hopes to remain with the Jaguars in 2017, per SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Cyprien, a 2013 second-round pick, has started 60 games during his Jacksonville career, and last year graded as the league’s No. 7 safety, according to Pro Football Focus. As of December, the Jags appeared likely to let Cyprien hit free agency, and for what it’s worth, PFF’s Sam Monson today identified Cyprien as a player likely to get overpaid next month.
  • After just over a month as Denver’s assistant offensive line coach, John Benton is leaving to become the 49ers’ O-line coach, reports the Sporting News’ Alex Marvez (Twitter link). Prior to his comically brief stint with the Broncos, Benton worked with front fives in St. Louis, Houston, Miami and Jacksonville from 2003-16. San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan was with Benton on the Texans’ offensive staff from 2006-09.
  • While the Broncos are losing one coach, they’re also adding another, as the club is hiring former Northern Colorado defensive backs coach Charles Gordon as a defensive quality control assistant, according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. Gordon, who had a short NFL career with Vikings from 2006-09, had been UNC’s staff for the past three years.

Connor Byrne contributed to this post.

West Notes: Broncos, 49ers, Raiders, Vegas

The Broncos could express interest in left tackle Branden Albert and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, each of whom played for the Dolphins in 2016, per Mike Klis of 9NEWS (Twitter links). Mitchell was released on Thursday and could be a fit with Denver thanks to his relationship with Broncos head coach Vance Joseph and defensive line coach Bill Kollar. Albert was also thought to have been released, but Miami is now close to trading the 32-year-old to Jacksonville. It’s unclear if Denver would still be interested in Albert if forced to sacrifice draft compensation.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • In addition to confirming several previously-reported hires, the 49ers announced another wave of coaching staff additions tonight. The list of new coaches includes Jeff Hafley (defensive backs), Johnny Holland (linebackers), Jason Tarver (senior defensive assistant) and Bobby Slowik (defensive quality control). Tarver, a former coordinator at the NFL level, is a holdover but is shifting away from LBs coach in order for San Francisco to add Holland, a former Cleveland coach.
  • The Broncos have granted the 49ers permission to interview John Benton for their vacant offensive line position, as Klis reports in a separate piece. Denver hired Benton as its assistant offensive line coach last month, but obviously he hasn’t actually worked with any Broncos players as of yet. Benton has worked with new San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan in the past, as the pair was employed by Houston from 2006-09.
  • Although previous reports have indicated the Raiders‘ plan to relocate to Las Vegas is “dead,” Oakland executive Mark Badain recently told the NFL the club has financial backing from two banks willing to loan the Raiders money for their move, tweets Jason Cole of Bleacher Report. The Raiders last month lost the support of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who was planning to put $650MM towards a Vegas stadium, but reportedly still had “high hopes” of moving to Nevada.

Coaching Notes: Bradley, Kelly, Bears, Titans

The Chargers and new head coach Anthony Lynn want Gus Bradley to be their defensive coordinator, reports Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated (via Twitter). It was reported last week that the new Los Angeles franchise was looking at Bradley for the gig, and that interest made more sense following reports that former defensive coordinator John Pagano wouldn’t be returning.

However, Bradley isn’t in a rush to sign a deal. The former Jaguars coach is waiting to see whether the 49ers will hire Seahawks offensive line/assistant head coach Tom Cable as their head coach. The duo coached together in Seattle from 2011 through 2012, and we can assume that Bradley would be interested in joining Cable’s 49ers staff. Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reports (via Twitter) that Bradley is a “top choice” for Cable’s hypothetical staff.

Let’s take a look at some more coaching notes from around the NFL…

  • Chip Kelly headed into his interview with the Jaguars believing he’d get offered the offensive coordinator position, reports Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter). In fact, the former Eagles and 49ers head coach already has some “assistant hires” ready to go. Rapoport notes that there’s a good chance Kelly gets the gig.
  • The Bears have hired Jeremiah Washburn to be their offensive line coach, reports Marvez (via Twitter). Washburn spent last season as the Dolphins assistant offensive line coach, and he also spent time coaching with the Lions and Ravens.
  • The Titans have added a pair of coaches to their staff. Jim Wyatt of reports that the team has added former Temple passing game coordinator Frisman Jackson as their new wide receivers coach. The team has also hired Craig Aukerman to be an assistant special teams coach. Aukerman served as the Chargers special teams coordinator last season.
  • The Browns hired Blake Williams as their linebackers coach and Jerod Kruse as an assistant defensive backs coach, reports Nate Ulrich of (via Twitter). Williams, the son of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, spent last season working under his dad in Los Angeles.
  • The Broncos have added John Benton to their coaching staff as an assistant offensive line coach, reports Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post. Benton has coached in the NFL for 13 years, and he spent last season working for the Jaguars.

Jaguars Notes: Kiffin, Draft, Hurns, Beachum

The Jaguars made a big-name addition to their coaching staff today, formally announcing that veteran NFL coach Monte Kiffin would be joining the team as a defensive assistant. Kiffin, formerly the defensive coordinator in Dallas, Tampa Bay, New Orleans, and Minnesota, served in 2014 and 2015 as an assistant head coach for the Cowboys. In 2016, he’ll work with a unit that will be adding Malik Jackson, Prince Amukamara, and 2015 first-rounder Dante Fowler Jr., among others.

Here’s more on the Jaguars:

  • In addition to hiring Kiffin, the Jaguars also announced a couple more coaching changes, adding John Benton as assistant offensive line coach and John Donovan as offensive quality control coach.
  • GM Dave Caldwell is open to the idea of moving down in the draft, suggesting to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union that he’d be willing to go from No. 5 overall to “somewhere in the early teens.” Caldwell’s comments suggest that the Jags probably feel the top of the draft is fairly deep, and that the team will keep an eye out for opportunities to add another early pick.
  • Caldwell acknowledged that the Jaguars may look into a contract extension for wide receiver Allen Hurns this offseason now that he’s eligible for a new deal. “I think we’ll wait until after the draft to see where we’re at,” Caldwell said, per O’Halloran. “And if we did anything, it would be before the season.” I’d be surprised if Jacksonville gets anything done with Hurns this year, since he won’t be eligible for unrestricted free agency until 2018.
  • Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle provides several details on the Kelvin Beachum contract (all Twitter links). The deal is worth $5MM in year one, with a $2.5MM salary and up to $1MM in per-game roster bonuses. $1.5MM of that $5MM comes in the form of a guaranteed roster bonus. After the 2016 season, the Jaguars will have until 22 days prior to the start of the 2017 league year to decide whether or not to exercise Beachum’s $5MM option bonus for 2017-2020, when his salaries would range from $7.5MM to $10MM.