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Lincoln Riley has $4.6 million buyout if he leaves for NFL after 2019

Mike Florio and Charean Williams discuss the pros and cons of the NFL having the draft before free agency.

Lincoln Riley said he was not tempted to leave Oklahoma for an NFL job this offseason, failing to show any interest even in leaving for the Browns, where his former quarterback, Baker Mayfield, plays. Riley explained it’s “hard to see myself leaving Oklahoma.”

But even a contract extension earlier this offseason didn’t stop Riley-to-the-NFL talk.

This might quiet the talk for a year or two: Our friends at College Football Talk reported that an open records request by the Tulsa World discovered that Riley has a $4.6 million buyout if he leaves OU for any job, including the NFL, after the 2019 season. The buyout drops by $1 million every year thereafter until March 16, 2022, when OU will waive the buyout.

Riley’s deal runs through 2023, and he receives a $1 million bonus if he is the head coach on April 1, 2021.

Riley, 35, will make $6 million in total compensation in 2019, making him the highest-paid coach in school history.

He has produced a 24-4 record, with two Big 12 championships and two Heisman Trophy winners in his two seasons.