Following the 2013 season, Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz will have two years left on his contract. His original four-year deal was completed after last season. This means that he's about to finish the first year of his three-year extension, which he received in June 2012.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter (via Dave Birkett), Schwartz has more than $12 million left on his contract. If that is accurate, then Schwartz is set to make at least $6 million per season in the final two years of his deal. This likely means that he made around $6 million this season, and it means that the contract extension he received in 2012 boosted his salary quite a bit.
Assuming these numbers are accurate, this is a situation where it would have been beneficial for the Lions to have cheap owners. I get that Schwartz just ended the Lions' playoff drought and seemingly had them on the right track back in 2012, but why on earth did the team feel the need to give him at least $6 million a year? That makes no sense when you consider how little success he had as a head coach at the time, and it makes even less sense when you compare him to the other coaches making at least $6 million a year:
Of the 8 coaches making more than $6 million, 6 have Super Bowl experience, other two (Carroll/Kelly) dominated college ranks.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) December 22, 2013
The fact that Schwartz's deal is so large lends credence to the report from earlier in the week about ownership not wanting to fire him after last season because of his buyout. It also lends credence to the idea that the Fords didn't want to fire him before he even entered the first season of his mega-extension.
What exactly does this news mean for the current situation for the Lions? It's not as if the Lions have shied away from firing their head coach in the past just because he had a ton of money left on his deal, and I can't imagine that will be the deciding factor this year if the Lions fail to make the playoffs. However, it's another interesting twist in a situation that is obviously more complicated than originally thought.