How Big Are the Buyouts for Potential Nick Saban Replacements? Mike Norvell Makes Too Much Sense

    Nick Saban is out at Alabama and the list of replacements have already formed. Just how much are the contract buyouts for Saban's replacements?

    The news that Nick Saban has retired from his head coaching duties with the Alabama Crimson Tide has rocked the college football world. While SEC foes rejoice that the man who led Alabama to six National Championships will not be roaming the sidelines in Tuscaloosa anymore, other fan bases have shifted their focus into fear.

    Fear of whether or not one of the biggest draws in all of sport in terms of head coach placement may come calling their coach. However, some fanbases can rest easy with how big the buyouts of some high-profile targets are.

    Ranking Nick Saban Replacement Candidates by Buyout

    First things first, let’s get to the fact that no matter how safe you think your team is, the Alabama Crimson Tide is a brand and your coach could absolutely leave what you may think is a cushy and comfortable position for Tuscaloosa. And, honestly, it likely wouldn’t take more than a phone call.

    The money aspect will certainly come into play and it’s easy to shift focus to how much each coach would have associated with their name in terms of a contract buyout from their current job. Let’s rank them, courtesy of our friend Pete Thamel.

    1) Dan Lanning, Oregon: $20 million

    You better believe Dan Lanning is on the shortlist for the Alabama coaching vacancy. After revitalizing the Oregon Ducks both on the field and off, Lanning’s ties to the program and SEC as a whole make him a prime candidate to make the jump.

    MORE: Nick Saban Announces Retirement From Alabama

    Lanning’s contract buyout at Oregon is the highest of the potential candidates, sitting at $20 million.

    2) Kalen DeBoer, Washington: $12 million

    Next up is the great Kalen DeBoer, fresh off his National Championship appearance and 14-1 record with the Washington Huskies this past season. DeBoer, a proven winner and culture builder, comes fully equipped with the coaching arsenal to win at any level, including the SEC.

    The Pacific Northwest to the unfriendly confines of the SEC doesn’t necessarily make it an easy transition, nor does the $12 million buyout that is associated with his current contract.

    3) Dabo Swinney, Clemson: $7.5 million

    Long-standing Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney is next up on the list. With a contract buyout of $7.5 million, Swinney is a high-profile coach with a price tag that is certainly within reach for the Tide.

    Another question is whether Swinney would bolt Clemson for Alabama and join the ultra-competitive SEC. It’s probably one that is harder to answer than ponying up the cash for his buyout.

    4) Mike Norvell, Florida State: $4 million

    This is where Florida State fans should start to get worried. If the mass exodus of players bolting Tallahassee following their non-inclusion in the College Football Playoff in favor of the Crimson Tide wasn’t enough, expect the Tide to not only be able to handle Mike Norvell’s buyout easily enough, but also be appealing enough to take him just a bit north.

    From Tallahassee to Tuscaloosa, Norvell is a proven winner, great recruiter, and has ties to every recruiting area the SEC covets. This match makes all too much sense.

    5) Marcus Freeman, Notre Dame: unknown

    We would be remiss not to include Marcus Freeman here as a potential replacement for Saban, but since Notre Dame is a private school, Freeman’s contract buyout is not publicly known.

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