What will the future hold for Joe Brady? Let's discuss a few possibilities for the LSU savior
Enjoy it, LSU fans. Just brace for it, too.
The first “it” is this historically dominant version of the Tigers’ offense since Joe Brady left the New Orleans Saints to join Ed Orgeron’s staff as the passing game coordinator/receivers coach/savior. The one that has Joe Burrow as a Heisman Trophy favorite leading the No. 1 Tigers heading into the second weekend of November.
The second “it” is the swarm of teams that are going to pursue the 30-year old offensive assistant whose RPO-based system turned water into wine with the LSU offense.
Yes, I realize that LSU fans were hopeful that Brady was going to be the offensive coordinator in waiting until Steve Ensminger’s contract runs out at the end of the 2020 season. Technically, there’s still a chance that could happen.
But one thing seems certain — that 3-year deal that paid Brady $400,000 annually is going to look a little different at season’s end.
Whether it’s LSU or another team signing those checks remains to be seen.
Brady is in for a hefty raise, regardless of if LSU gets over the hump against Alabama or if Burrow wins the Heisman. If he’s making less than 7 figures in 2020, I’ll be stunned. You don’t revamp an offense that dramatically and not cash in. I mean, Tyson Helton was paid $1.2 million to be Tennessee’s offensive coordinator in 2018. There’s zero question that Brady is worth that.
There are a few things to consider when it comes to Brady’s future. One is that despite the fact that he has a chance to win the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant, he isn’t a coordinator yet. Most people who are 3 years removed from being a grad assistant aren’t coordinators.
LSU is, at the very least, going to make Brady a co-offensive coordinator at season’s end. My guess is that the Tigers would risk Ensminger’s potentially bruised ego if that happened, though given how well he’s handled Brady’s rise, that would be a surprising development. Orgeron’s staff-friendly deal should allow for that type of raise to come Brady’s way.
My question is obvious — what will the market look like for Brady?
I joked in the midst of Georgia’s slow start against Kentucky that I wonder who would say “no” if the Dawgs offered Brady $10 million to fly on a plane and get to Athens ASAP. I was only half-joking about that. I do think that several Power 5 teams with either defensive-minded head coaches or offensive-minded head coaches who are in need of a spark will make Brady a 7-figure offer. Whether LSU would actually let him make more money as a coordinator elsewhere might be a different discussion.
If Georgia’s offense struggles down the stretch, Kirby Smart could fire James Coley and throw the kitchen sink at Brady. Penn State would be an intriguing candidate given Brady’s days as a grad assistant on James Franklin’s staff, though that would probably take current offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne becoming a Group of 5 head coach.
If the USC staff is fired, Brady could do wonders working as an offensive coordinator in a quarterback hub like Southern California. He’d get paid a boatload of money to do it, too.
I wouldn’t rule out the idea of Florida State’s next head coach, depending on what side of the ball their area expertise is in, making Brady an attractive offer to return to his home state of Florida. Actually, Danny Kanell even wants him to become his alma mater’s next head coach:
— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) November 4, 2019
Can you imagine if Brady got an offer that massive already? It would be an unprecedented rise, but that’s been the Brady story so far.
There are probably a few other Power 5 programs who would enter the coaching carousel in need of a splashy offensive coordinator. In all likelihood, the guy is probably going to have head coaching interest. Some might say the inexperience could prevent that from happening for at least another year or two, but all bets are off if LSU continues this historic offensive season to a national title.
And there’s the other thing that needs to be considered.
How attractive is getting back to the NFL for Brady? He was part of some ridiculously talented offenses with the Saints. The same league that had a team who hired Kliff Kingsbury after his Texas Tech firing would surely have a potential market for Brady. Maybe it’s not as a primary play-caller, but I can’t imagine that his work is going unnoticed at the next level. We could find out that Brady once had dinner with Sean McVay, and he’d suddenly have teams handing him a blank check.
Kidding. Kind of.
I don’t know what Brady’s next move will be. He might not, either. He might let this process play out and see what/who appeals to him. This is the first time in his young life both as a coach and as a former player that he has everyone coming after him, and rightfully so. The LSU offensive transformation is the type of thing teams dream about but can never actually deliver when they’re selling the program in the offseason.
I’m fascinated to see what’s ahead for the LSU assistant, both in the next month and when the season ends. The least likely scenario feels like Brady returning to his same salary and title in Baton Rouge next year. He’s been far too valuable for that to happen, and if there was ever a time to cash in, now is it.
For now, Brady’s career is much like his famed RPO system — options galore.