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Macdonald's contract, signed Jan. 16, 2021, was obtained by the Free Press via a Freedom of Information Act request.
The Wolverines' new defensive coordinator — who joined the staff after a seven-year stint with the Baltimore Ravens and in his first season as a coordinator — will be paid $1 million in Year 1 of his contract, $1.025 million in Year 2, and $1.05 million in Year 3.
He is also eligible for performance-based incentives. Macdonald will receive $100,000 if Michigan finishes top-2 in the Big Ten in scoring defense, $100,000 if Michigan finishes top-10 in the nation in scoring defense, and $50,000 per regular-season win exceeding nine (with a max of $200,000).
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: Macdonald's rise to Michigan fueled by 'enthusiasm' at Georgia
If the Wolverines fire Macdonald before the end of the deal, he will be owed his remaining base salary, to be paid in monthly installments; if he accepts a new job, the money Michigan owes will be offset by his new compensation.
There is also a clause in Macdonald's contract regarding the possibility that head coach Jim Harbaugh is fired during Macdonald's three-year deal. If that occurs in the first year, Macdonald will receive his full salary for Year 1, 50% of his salary for Year 1 and 25% of his salary for Year 3. If Harbaugh is fired during Macdonald's second year, Macdonald will receive his full salary for that year and 50% of his salary for Year 3. If Harbaugh is fired during Macdonald's third year, he will receive his full salary for that year.
If Macdonald leaves Michigan before the final game of the 2021 season for a non-head coaching job, he owes Michigan a $1 million buyout. If Macdonald leaves after the final game of the 2021 season but before the final game of the third year of his contract, he owes Michigan $175,000; $350,000 if Macdonald leaves for another job within the Big Ten; and $75,000 if he leaves for an assistant coaching job in the NFL.
Macdonald does not owe Michigan anything if he accepts a college or NFL head coaching job or a "primary play-calling" coordinator job in the NFL. He also will not owe a buyout if Harbaugh is no longer the head coach.
Macdonald is scheduled to make roughly $700,000 less than former defensive coordinator Don Brown, who was scheduled to make $1.7 million in 2020.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan football signs Mike Macdonald to 3-year deal, over $3 million