Bill O'Brien will stay at Penn State after NFL flirtation
- By Gregg Rosenthal
- Updated: Jan. 4, 2013 at 12:30 a.m.
Bill O'Brien isn't going anywhere.
On the same night we learned the Penn State coach interviewed with the Cleveland Browns earlier this week, we also learned that O'Brien is staying with the Nittany Lions.
"I'm not a one-and-done guy," O'Brien told Pennlive.com on Thursday night. "I made a commitment to these players at Penn State, and that's what I am going to do. I'm not gonna cut and run after one year, that's for sure."
O'Brien said several NFL teams contacted him through his agent, Joe Linta, and Sirius XM Radio's Adam Caplan reported the coach also had a Thursday interview with the Philadelphia Eagles, who later confirmed the meeting. With O'Brien staying in State College, the showdown between the Eagles and Browns for Oregon coach Chip Kelly's services will be even more dramatic.
Linta told NFL.com's Albert Breer that the Arizona Cardinals and San Diego Chargers also reached out and that talks with the Browns and Eagles "never got past the conversation phase."
O'Brien might be staying for a lot of reasons, aside from his emotional connection to Penn State. His reported buyout might have been prohibitive. He might have learned he couldn't quickly close an NFL deal, and a week in limbo would have been devastating for his recruiting efforts. Or this might have been O'Brien's end game all along: Pennlive.com reported the coach received a $1.3 million gift from a prominent donor to bring his total compensation to $3.6 million, according to high-level Penn State sources.
Linta told Breer that "integrity was far more important (to O'Brien) than any financial considerations."
O'Brien's camp made it clear over the last week that he would entertain NFL offers. He met with two teams but now is quickly off the market after coaching the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record in his first season amid immense challenges.
Penn State didn't play in a bowl game, but O'Brien just scored a major postseason victory.