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Wednesday, May 6, 2009
More on pension tension for assistant coaches

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Here's more from Chris Mortensen on how confusion over changes to the league's pension plan prompted Colts offensive line coach Howard Mudd to retire and have offensive coordinator Tom Moore ready to follow Mudd's lead.

NFC West maven Mike Sando also did some nice follow-up reporting Wednesday examining the pension issues that helped prompt those decisions.

Interesting line in Sando's blog entry from Coaches Association head Larry Kennan about the possibility of coaches retiring to collect lump sum pensions, and then returning in a year. Mudd, 67 and dealing with back issues, and Moore, 70, might be less likely to follow that course than some of their colleagues.

I would think any coach at or beyond 65 with significant service time in the league is consulting with his accountant and considering his options.

I only found three other assistant coaches in the division who look to have the combination of age and NFL coaching experience that might land them in this category:

Houston running back coach Chick Harris, 63
Indianapolis linebackers coach Mike Murphy, 64
Jacksonville special teams coach Russ Purnell, 60.

Houston assistant head coach/ offense Alex Gibbs, 68, doesn't fal linto this category, according to Mortensen's report, because he "met the league formula for cashing out fully on his pension, only to be hired back as a $800,000 to $1 million consultant." Gibb was an Atlanta Falcons consultant in 2005 and 2006 and was out of the league in 2007.

The Titans oldest assistant coach, defensive line coach Jim Washburn, will only turn 60 in December and has only 10 seasons in the league.