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Breakdown: Jimbo Fisher’s new contract extension with Florida State

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Fisher is likely to be at Florida State for a long time.

NCAA Football: Boston College at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State signed Jimbo Fisher to a contract extension through the 2024-25 football season, it announced Monday.

Release from FSU

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State University Vice President and Director of Athletics Stan Wilcox released Monday a contract extension for Head Football Coach Jimbo Fisher through the 2024 season, with options for additional years. With the extension, Fisher maintains his position as one of college football’s highest paid coaches.

“Coach Fisher has done an outstanding job in leading our football program, and is clearly one of the top coaches in college football,” said Wilcox. “"He is committed to maintaining the elite status of FSU football and we are fortunate and proud to secure him for the long term.”

Florida State will play Michigan in the 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl on December 30th. The game will be the Seminoles’ fifth consecutive New Year’s Six/BCS Bowl appearance under Jimbo Fisher. FSU won the 2013 BCS National Championship and played in the inaugural College Football Playoff Semifinal game in 2014. Fisher has posted a 77-17 record over seven years as FSU’s head coach.

“Coach Fisher is doing a great job as our head football coach, and we are thrilled to continue working with him, as well as his assistant coaches, who all care so much about Florida State University’s success,” said Florida State University President John Thrasher.

“I am proud to be the football coach at Florida State University, and I am happy we were able to reach a long-term contract to have our staff in place for a long time,” said Fisher. “We are committed to developing young men in all phases of their lives and we have the administrative staff in place to do this.

“Florida State is a special place and I look forward to continuing to build on our past success into the future.”

Fisher’s new salary: $5.5M, making him one of the five highest-paid coaches in the country. This is an increase of $250K annually. The number is the same throughout the deal, as it is about guaranteed money and not annual raises.

Options: If Fisher’s Seminoles win 9 or more regular season games, the contract is extended by a year. There are two of these options available, meaning that the contract is very likely to run through 2026. This means that Fisher is essentially guaranteed to earn $55M from the school, not including bonuses.

Buyout if Fisher leaves: If he elects to leave, Fisher’s buyout is now the sum of all monies remaining on the contracts of his assistant coaches not retained by the university.

So, for example, if Fisher leaves, and the university retains none of ten coaches each making $500,000 on one-year deals, Fisher would owe the school $5M within 30 days. Given that many assistants are employed on two- or three-year contracts, it’s likely that this buyout number could be in the $10-15M range.

The practical impact of this is that it makes it safer for the school to give bigger raises to assistants, without the fear that it will be stuck paying them (or buying them out) if Fisher were to leave.

Buyout if FSU wants to terminate: Fisher would be owed the entirety of the contract — 20 weeks worth paid for by the school, and the remainder by the Boosters.

As an example, If FSU wanted to go in a new direction six years down the line, and the two option extensions have been triggered, it would cost the school/boosters roughly $22M to buy him out in 2022.

Recruiting: Fisher has received raises from the school in each of the last four seasons, thanks in large part to interest, real or perceived, from other schools. But a deal of this length will likely end the annual speculation about Fisher staying or going somewhere else. And that should help recruiting, and remove negative ammo from rival recruiters that Fisher is always looking to leave Tallahassee.