In the NFL, it’s typical for coaches to sign three-year contracts when they ink deals as coordinators. With that in mind, there’s been a line of thinking that has led many people to believe that Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry, now a third-year defensive coordinator, was coaching through a contract season in 2023.
According to The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman, though, that wasn’t the case. Per his reporting, Barry is actually under contract for at least 2024, meaning that moving on from Barry at coordination would only come via a firing, not simply allowing him to walk into the open market. This means that the Packers would still owe Barry his coaching salary for 2024, even if he was released from the team — a financial incentive for the organization to keep him.
Why is Barry still under contract going into his fourth season as a defensive coordinator, though? It seems unlikely that the team would have handed out a four-year contract for a new coordinator, which means that he probably received an extension at some point — maybe after his 2022 team rallied strongly in the second half of the season.
So far, head coach Matt LaFleur hasn’t said definitively that Barry will or won’t be back next season. On Saturday, he stated that the defense played “fantastic” after the loss to the San Francisco 49ers. On Monday during his end-of-season press conference, he claimed that he had not spoken to his coordinators, as they were given the day off on Sunday. When asked about a timeline for a decision, LaFleur smiled and said that he was “just gonna through the process at my own pace.”
As more information begins to trickle out of Green Bay by the hour, it’s seeming more and more likely that Barry will once again be calling defensive plays for the Packers next season. With the coordinator carousel in full swing and Green Bay seemingly having no urgency to enter the market, it feels like a safe bet that Barry will return for another year.