Todd Grantham Given Raise by Louisville After Turning Down Raiders


Money talks, and the disparity in contracts ultimately was the falling out in negotiations in the Oakland Raiders pursuit of Lousiville Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. Grantham, who is locked in to a long term deal with the Cardinals, opted to turn down a reported two year contract offer to head back to the NFL in favor of remaining at the ACC school for the future as the Raiders missed out on yet another DC candidate in their long search to fill their defensive staff.

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It also appears that Louisville were pleased that Grantham chose the security of his deal and place with the Cardinals over the chance to return to the NFL with the Raiders after coming to Kentucky from the Georgia Bulldogs for the 2014 season on a four year deal. That four year contract is reportedly getting sweetened even further as Grantham continues to enjoy the life of being one of the highest paid assistants in football even if he isn’t at the NFL level.

According to a report from ESPN, Louisville are set to rework Grantham’s deal to one that will pay him $1.4 million a season annually. A figure that puts him in the pay scale of some of the highest paid coordinators in the NCAA after just one season with the Cardinals, making it quite clear that Louisville were committed to keeping their defensive mind at the school once the Raiders began to pursue Grantham in late January to leave the program to run Oakland’s defense along with Jack Del Rio.

From ESPN:

"Louisville is rewarding defensive coordinator Todd Grantham for declining the Oakland Raiders’ job offer.The Cardinals are reworking Grantham’s four-year deal to pay him as much as $1.4 million annually, Grantham’s agent, Michael Harrison, told Grantham’s new contract will make him one of the highest paid coordinators in college football.Grantham likely will make more per year than most head coaches from non-power conferences such as the American, Mountain West, MAC, C-USA and Sun Belt."

Grantham having his contract restructured so soon after turning the Raiders down makes it appear that he played the situation of NFL interest perfectly as it seemed during the process that the now longtime college DC wanted to remain at a Louisville program that has the infrastructure in place to compete for ACC conference titles annually compared to an unsure future in Oakland. During Grantham’s one run as defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns the talented college playcaller didn’t match the level of success he has found since going to the NCAA, so using Oakland as leverage to make even more money is a shrewd one as he is being rewarded for showing his loyalty to the Cardinals with the restructuring of his contract.

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Now what appeared to be a conflict over contract length with the Raiders being difficult in not giving Grantham a deal over two years looks like one that may have been unlikely in the first place with Louisville willing to up his contract. Other than Auburn’s Will Muschamp, Grantham will be one of the highest paid coordinators in the NCAA, making more than Kirby Smart (Alabama) and Cam Cameron (LSU) did based on their reported 2014 salaries. That is a good piece of business for Grantham, who has oversaw plenty of Top 25 defensive units since taking over at Georgia and now Louisville, but has never been on a staff that has won a conference championship up until this point.

Making $1.4 million the pressure will be on Grantham after making the bold move to remain in college as NFL opportunities at the defensive coordinator position don’t come around ofter and the Cardinals will be expecting success on the defensive level while they pay their coordinator the biggest contract for any assistant in the ACC next season. Luckily for Grantham it is expected that Louisville could be the contenders in the ACC with Florida State in a transition year following two conference championships so if he can keep guiding his defense to success things will be alright for the Cardinals in 2015.

As for the Raiders, losing out on Grantham isn’t the end of the world with the defensive mind of Jack Del Rio sure to have an influence on the Oakland defense, but with the Super Bowl ending the NFL season the clock is ticking to hire a coordinator before the start of 2015 NFL Free Agency. That should easily happen, but now in the first week of February the search for a DC is going to heat up fast as the final position of spotlight has to be filled by Del Rio. Once that happens the Raiders will have a coach who has the desire to represent the Raiders defense and hopefully one that has the experience to breed success, whether he comes from the college ranks or not.