Will he or won't he?
Is he A&M bound or LSU locked?
The world — including a lot of folks in the Texas A&M and LSU football offices — are waiting for John Chavis to decide where he'll be working in 2015.
For a month, LSU's defensive coordinator has had a new contract on his desk just waiting to be signed. While the staff members around him inked their extensions, Chavis refused to uncap his pen. Reportedly the man known as "Chief" is upset over a specific clause in the new deal. That clause says that if Les Miles were no longer the LSU head coach, Chavis would only be compensated for six months. Overall the deal would pay the man $4 million over three years, a $30,000 boost over his current pay.
In response to Chavis' displeasure with the Miles clause in his contract, LSU has reportedly offered Chavis a two-year deal that would run through 2015 and 2016. Less time, but full payment if Miles loses/leaves his job.
Chavis, of course, has been through a house-cleaning at Tennessee. Upon Lane Kiffin's hiring, Chavis was unceremoniously dumped from his alma mater by the man taking over for Phillip Fulmer.
Texas A&M is believed to be offering Chavis a larger deal than LSU's at $1.67 million per season, though we believe it all comes down to what amounts to a buyout. Chavis wants security if the guy above him departs. End of story. A&M can and will probably offer a stronger buyout.
The Aggies are down to the last big target on their wish list. Kevin Sumlin fired Mark Snyder as his D-coordinator right after the regular season ended. Since then it's believed he's tried but failed to hire Will Muschamp and DJ Durkin. In other words, A&M is ready to go all-in on Chavis.
All of this came to a head last night after LSU's 31-28 loss to Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl. Ironically, it was Chavis' defense that allowed the Irish a long, time-consuming, game-winning drive.
Miles sounded resigned to lose his assistant when asked about Chavis/A&M rumors. "I could tell you John Chavis was very productive for us. He's had a great career at LSU." Miles appeared emotional during his post-Music City Bowl presser. "I'm gonna try to pitch him again, 'cause we like Chief."
Asked about the perceptions created by a Chavis move to College Station, Miles said, "I don't know how it looks, to be honest with you, nor do I give a damn."
LSU players on Twitter made it sound as if Chavis is out the gate as well. Defensive back Dwayne Thomas said: "I can't believe we're saying goodbye and just letting this go down. It's crazy how everything going down right now it's happening so fast."
Chavis refused to answer questions about his job status after the game. He also showed his surly side when reporters continued to ask him questions about that topic anyway. "You know what, I've said three or four times I wasn't gonna talk about that. I wanna be nice. But at some point, I can be an ugly ass. And I don't want to be that tonight, so I'm not gonna be that, alright?"
The Baton Rouge Advocate reported this morning that Chavis wasn't expected to be on the team flight back to Louisiana today. Instead he's heading to his off-season home in East Tennessee. Chavis — despite everything pointing toward Texas A&M — is still mulling his decision. According to The Advocate's sources, Chavis and Miles had a "long" and "productive" meeting in the team hotel last night in Nashville. This after Miles had already met with school administrators.
Folks from Louisiana to Texas seem to believe Chavis will eventually land on Sumllin's staff at A&M. We're not so sure. The man who's handled defensive duties at LSU doesn't have a history of job-jumping. He was at Tennessee from 1989 through 2008. He's been on the Bayou from 2009 through 2014. If LSU can get in the ballpark with A&M on the buyout issues, we wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see him stay on Miles' staff.
That said, it's believed Chavis' buyout from LSU drops at midnight tonight which would make it easier for him to trade one SEC West school for another.