The Browns are looking to replace Pat Shurmur, who was one of seven NFL coaches fired Monday.
O'Brien spent this year coaching the Nittany Lions in his first season at the helm. O'Brien replaced Joe Paterno, who had coached the team since 1966. Despite starting the season 0-2, Penn State finished the year with an 8-4 record under the leadership of the Massachusetts native.
According to USA Today, any team who hires O'Brien would have to pay $18 million to Penn State because of a buyout clause.
O'Brien moved to Penn State from the New England Patriots, where he was the offensive coordinator for one season. He also spent time in New England as the wide receivers and quarterbacks coach.
Shurmur coached the Browns for two seasons. Cleveland went 5-11 under Shurmur this season, finishing fourth in the AFC North. Over the last two years, the Browns went 9-23 and did not make the playoffs.