Lovie Smith’s hiring as new coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be a win-win for Jeff Tedford and the Cal athletic department.
Tedford, the Bears’ former coach, is expected to join Smith — a defensive specialist and former head coach of the Chicago Bears — as the Bucs’ offensive coordinator.
Depending on Tedford’s salary, his hiring by Tampa Bay might lessen’s Cal’s financial obligation to him based on the terms of his contract settlement last Feb. 4.
Cal and Tedford agreed on a $5.55 million payout over three years, through the 2015 football season. That represented a reduction from the $6.9 million Tedford’s original contract called for over the 2013, ’14 and ’15 seasons.
The parties also agreed that any salary Tedford earned above $1.5 million per year through Dec. 31, 2015 as either a Division I college head coach or an NFL head coach or assistant would be shared evenly by Tedford and Cal.
For instance, if the Bucs pay Tedford $2 million each for 2014 and 2015, he would re-pay the athletic department $250,000 for each of those seasons.
Most likely, Tedford’s compensation as an NFL coordinator would not exceed $1.5 mil, making it a wash with his Cal agreement.
This will be Tedford’s first foray into the NFL. He reportedly has been part of the coaching staff Smith was assembling in anticipation of being hired somewhere in the league.
As a college head coach or assistant at Fresno State, Oregon and Cal, Tedford was responsible for developing the likes of Trent Dilfer and Aaron Rodgers.
In 11 seasons at Cal, Tedford became the school’s winningest all-time coach with a record of 82-57.