A seven-year deal is said to be close to signing and is described here as a way to "lock up" Petrino from a possible Florida offer. These lockups are, of course, meaningless over time. If somebody wants a coach bad enough, they'll pay whatever buyout is demanded to get them.
Meanwhile, the mutually assured destruction of over-the-top coaching pay continues. Only 30 or 40 schools can play at this level consistently. I don't think many years will pass before the top-tier football coaches are commanding $5 million a year routinely, while wannabe Div. I schools (think Arkansas State) are still hiring Ph.D. directors of science programs for $50,000 a year. But, hey. How many people will pay $1,000 for the right to buy tickets to watch a science professor mix stuff in a petri dish?