GREEN BAY – New Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur won’t make as much as his predecessor Mike McCarthy, but that's not unexpected for someone new to the position.
McCarthy made more than $8 million in the second-to-last year of his existing contract and was due to make in that neighborhood again in 2019.
LaFleur, according to two league sources, will average between $5 million and $5.5 million per year on a four-year contract that includes a fifth-year club option. It is a solid deal for someone who had been an offensive coordinator for just two years and called plays for just one.
The Packers certainly held a lot of leverage in negotiations given LaFleur didn’t have any other teams pursuing him for a head-coach position. More than likely they could have gotten a bargain deal on a first-time head coach.
According to one source who negotiates coaching contracts, LaFleur would rank about 25th in the NFL in average salary if he were at $5 million a year. The high end of the coaching scale is $10 million per year.
As with many coaching contracts, if LaFleur has success, the Packers will try to extend the deal and give him a raise. McCarthy signed a lucrative extension after winning the Super Bowl in 2010 that raised his average much closer to the top range.
LaFleur is in the range of the coaches most recently hired. The group that has been tabbed for coaching positions this year consists mostly of first-time head coaches and their salaries will reflect that.
The Packers will be paying both LaFleur's and McCarthy’s salaries this year, which means they’ll be coughing up about $14 million in head-coaching salary.
LaFleur, meanwhile, is working to solidify his coaching staff, and two of the people that have been discussed since he was introduced Wednesday are San Francisco 49ers running game coordinator Mike McDaniel and 49ers passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur.
The latter is Matt LaFleur’s brother.
All three of the men worked together in Atlanta, when 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator. Shanahan took McDaniel and Mike LaFleur with him to San Francisco, while Matt LaFleur went to the Los Angeles Rams.
Matt LaFleur is going to have a hard time prying either of the two away from Shanahan. Since the job does not involve play-calling and isn’t a huge promotion, Shanahan is likely to deny LaFleur’s request to hire either one.
However, nothing is official yet and Matt LaFleur will have to have a contingency plan if Shanahan denies his request.
The only time a team must allow one of its coaches under contract to interview is if the position being offered is head coach.
As for the rest of the offensive staff, offensive line coach James Campen will probably draw a lot of interest if LaFleur goes in another direction. A source said the Minnesota Vikings have vetted Campen as a possible addition as offensive line coach.
But Campen is under contract and LaFleur would have to let him go.