Texas officials are in talks with defensive coordinator Todd Orlando on a contract extension and raise that could pay him $1.7 million in 2018 and keep him with the Longhorns, two sources said.
Yahoo Sports first reported that UT was working on a new deal. A UT source told the American-Statesman that the school wants to make Orlando one of the top five highest-paid defensive coordinators in the country and that he will leave only for a head coaching job. The source said initial targets would be a raise to $1.7 million.
When Orlando joined coach Tom Herman from Houston, he became the first assistant in UT history to be paid more than $1 million annually. He was scheduled to earn $1.09 million for the 2017 season. His current deal runs through March 2020.
Orlando’s defense got off to a shaky start with a 51-41 loss to Maryland in the season opener. But the unit steadily turned things around as September wore on. A huge goal-line stand early against USC may have been a game-changing moment for the rest of the season.
Texas finished the season with the third-best scoring defense in the Big 12 and the second-best run defense. Safety DeShon Elliott became a consensus first-team All-American. Both Elliott, linebacker Malik Jefferson and cornerback Holton Hill are forgoing their senior year and will enter the NFL draft.
Orlando wants to become a head coach at some point. His name surfaced in connection to the SMU job, but Orlando never had any interview with the Mustangs. His name has been thrown around in connection to defensive coordinator openings at Texas A&M and Florida State. However, one A&M source said Orlando was never seriously considered to join the Aggies.
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