Despite recent reports linking Joe Brady to NFL opportunities, LSU coach Ed Orgeron says the university's plan to retain his successful assistant coach is "just about wrapped up."
The No. 1 Tigers (14-0) are playing in their first national championship game since 2011 with an offense that ranks first nationally in scoring (48.9 points per game) and a quarterback, Joe Burrow, who won the Heisman Trophy — all impressive bullet points in Brady's resume in his first season as LSU's passing game coordinator.
The 30-year-old Brady, who won the Broyles Award for nation's top assistant coach, has been included in multiple reported wish lists, from the offensive coordinator position at Texas, to the NFL.
On Monday, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that Brady would be Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale's top choice for offensive coordinator, if Martindale wins a head coaching gig elsewhere.
LSU football head coach Ed Orgeron talked about the future of sought after assistant coach Joe Brady and provided a status update for starters…
LSU is currently in contract negotiations to keep Brady. Orgeron said Tuesday morning that a deal likely won't happen until the season is over, and he's confident that his wunderkind assistant will remain in Baton Rouge.
"We'll see what happens at the end of our run here," Orgeron said during his national championship conference call. "We have a couple weeks left. I do feel that Joe is going to be a Tiger. I do feel that everything is just about wrapped up. And I feel good about where we are.
"But, you know, football you can never tell what's going to happen. But I feel confident in saying that Joe's going to be with us at LSU. He's a great young man, and we just about got everything wrapped up. Not completely finalized yet, but we're very close."
LSU passing-game coordinator Joe Brady is a top choice for an NFL offensive coordinator position, according to NFL.com.
Orgeron said earlier this month that LSU was "a step ahead" of other suitors and that athletic director Scott Woodward had already instituted a retention plan to keep Brady.
"Scott Woodward came up with a plan two months ago," Orgeron said Dec. 3 in an interview on WNXX-FM, 104.5''s "Off the Bench." "He had the vision to see what was gonna go on, so we had to put a plan together and that plan is being put in place right now, and I feel good about it."
Did that plan call for locking Brady down before the season was over?
"Well, we just had a plan that with all the coaching staff members about after the season what would be appropriate and what we wanted to do," Orgeron said Tuesday. "It was just a preliminary plan that we worked on, and that's it."
Brady said at the Broyles Award in Little Rock, Arkansas, that "nothing's been done in my eyes" in regards to a new contract, and that he was "just focused on beating Oklahoma right now."
"If LSU wants me, I loved everything about LSU," Brady told The Advocate on Dec. 10. "Like I said, I don't know what the future holds. I think it's, I'd love to be at LSU, and when I say, 'Absolutely,' it's because I absolutely love being there. I don't think of another job. I never have no matter what."
Brady helped install a revamped spread offense with West Coast and run-pass option schemes that he learned as an offensive assistant with the New Orleans Saints and as a graduate assistant at Penn State.
With Brady's ties to the NFL, and the interest in him that's rising in football's highest level, it's uncertain whether the NFL is LSU's toughest opponent in retaining Brady.
"You don't know," Orgeron said Tuesday. "You can never tell. NFL, college. I think both. Joe's an outstanding coach, so you have to be prepared for both."
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Brady signed a three-year contract Feb. 3 with LSU. The deal pays him $410,000 per year in his first year, $435,000 in his second and $460,000 in his final season until the contract expires March 31, 2022.
Brady is the seventh-highest-paid assistant on Orgeron's staff, which includes 10 coaches. Brady's current annual salary ranks outside the top 200 assistants nationally, according to USA Today's collected data of 2018 salaries.
LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda's $2.5 million per year ranks first nationally among assistant coaches. In May, offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger signed a two-year, $800,000-per-year contract with LSU that expires March 31, 2021.