|Mary Langenfeld/USA TODAY Sports|
|Penn State's Bill O'Brien is likely to be in demand among NFL teams searching for a head coach.|
Penn State coach Bill O'Brien's impressive start to a major rebuilding job with the Nittany Lions might come to a premature end this offseason.
NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport reported that O'Brien, whose coaching background includes five seasons as an offensive assistant with the New England Patriots, already has drawn interest from one NFL club.
Will talk about Penn St coach Bill OâBrien later. 1 NFL team has reached out to him so far. Execs view him as a legit candidate this yearâ Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 22, 2013
O'Brien interviewed with the Cleveland Browns last offseason and drew interest from other clubs, just a year into his challenge of rebuilding a program decimated by scandal and NCAA sanctions. In just his second season with a limited number of scholarships, O'Brien steered the Nittany Lions to wins over Michigan and Wisconsin. With seven wins, the team would have qualified for a bowl appearance, but the program remains under a bowl ban as part of its NCAA sanctions.
Despite the surprisingly speedy turnaround, plus news in September that the the NCAA would reduce initial penalties, O'Brien appears to be setting the stage for an exit. O'Brien's amended contract has lowered the buyout for an NFL team to $6.48 million, roughly a third of what it was last offseason.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.