Ian Rappaport, who you may recall was an Alabama beat reporter well before moving on the NFL Network (and a very reliable guy,) is reporting that the NFL is going to come panting after Saban again.
From the Mothership:
Saban was previously linked to the Colts' wish list. He's already addressed job rumors in general this season, saying he intends to finish his career in Tuscaloosa. He tested the NFL waters for two forgettable seasons with the Miami Dolphins in 2005 and 2006, before returning to college to form a powerhouse in Tuscaloosa. Getting him back to the NFL won't be easy.
Per Rappaport, the Colts (among others) are "going to make Nick Saban say no" before moving on to other candidates.
Guess what? He will.
Saban has his daughter and his grandbaby in the area. Saban has a new Mercedes dealership in the area (and do you think that guy is going to let someone else manage it without supervision or be unable to check in occasionally while he's 900 miles away in Cleveland?) Ms. Terry has repeatedly stressed that this is home. Saban has said that this is the closest he's come to setting down roots -- that he has very good, lifelong friends here now. This is to say nothing of where his true loves lie: He loves teaching college kids. He enjoys coaching them. He thrives on mentoring them into adulthood.
There's also the little matter of the utter control he wields in Tuscaloosa and his advancing age. Saban is 64 years old, albeit a well-conditioned 64. Still, does he want to rebuild a tire fire NFL franchise with no control over personnel? Doubtful.
Was there a time or place when Nick Saban would leave? Absolutely. The most recent, and I believe the final viable candidate, was the Texas opening following the 2013 season. Like Alabama, the Horns are historical college football royalty. Rebuilding yet another powerhouse would have been enough to mark his legacy. Ultimately, the pull of home called. Fortunately for Alabama fans, "home" is Tuscaloosa, where there is a great big legend waiting to unseat, or at the least, take his place alongside.
It would take one helluva' program, historically on par with Alabama, for Saban to even give leaving serious consideration. There is only one in that wheelhouse: Notre Dame. Still, for the forgoing and above reasons (coupled with ND's notorious admissions headaches) he'd reluctantly thumbs-down the Fighting Irish.
Saban has said that he wants to retire at the University of Alabama. For once, why can't we -- collectively -- believe him?