The Packers hired Mike McCarthy in January 2006, weeks after going 4-12, and nine months after they had drafted Aaron Rodgers. Eight years later, Green Bay has gone 82-45-1 under McCarthy, including six playoff appearances and another Lombardi Trophy for the trophy case.
And now the plan is to keep McCarthy in Green Bay beyond 2015, when his current deal is set to expire; team president Mark Murphy has been working on a contract extension for McCarthy, reports Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
McCarthy has had three contracts with the Packers. The first, a three-year deal, averaged $2 million per season. In 2008, he signed a five-year extension that averaged $4 million. But with two years left on that deal -- and shortly after the Packers won the Super Bowl in Feb. 2011 -- Murphy awarded McCarthy with a five-year extension that averaged roughly $6.5 million.
McGinn writes that the Patriots' Bill Belichick is the NFL's highest-paid coach, earning about $11 million annually. He's followed by the Seahawks' Pete Carroll ($9 million) and the Saints' Sean Payton ($8.5 million).
Then comes a group of coaches earning between $6 million-$7 million: McCarthy, Tom Coughlin of the Giants, Jeff Fisher of the Rams, John Harbaugh of the Ravens and Andy Reid of the Chiefs. The Steelers' Mike Tomlin makes approximately $6 million.
It's unclear how much McCarthy would make in a new contract, and McGinn writes that, "One source familiar with the situation said Murphy's decision to begin working on a new contract for McCarthy was met by some grumbling within the team's board of directors."
It's also unclear how much longer Packers general manager Ted Thompson will stay around. His contract expires in 2015 but when he was asked if it was important to remain on the job until then, he said "I don't look at it like that. It's important for me to try to do a good job today."
Should Thompson decide to retire in the next few years, McGinn writes that possible replacement candidates could include Seahawks general manager John Schneider, who left Green Bay for Seattle in 2010 but who grew up in Wisconsin.
There's also John Dorsey, who left the Packers for the Chiefs' GM job and promptly led a two-win team to an 11-5 record and the playoffs. And 49ers general manager Trent Baalke, who has had success in San Francisco, is close with Thompson, and grew up an hour from Lambeau Field.
Whatever happens with McCarthy and Thompson, this much is certain: both their jobs have been made immeasurably easier thanks to Rodgers. Yes, Thompson is responsible for drafting him but hitting on a franchise quarterback is as much about luck as great scouting. And while having a great coach and wonderful front office is important, the key ingredient remains that franchise QB. Just ask the Vikings.