The way I see it, this dude has 3 options:
- Reject the $55K increase and stick with his old job that he loves (dribble out of bounds)
- Take the $170K to his current boss and negotiate for a raise (layup)
- Take the $170K job, stick with it for a year and then bounce (dunk)
My advice would be to take the $170K offer to his current manager and get him/her to match it or raise his current salary. That's the layup option. It's not too money-hungry and doesn't summarily leave $55K (almost 50% his current pay) on the table. Worst case, he'll be fired and fall back on the $170K offer. Best and unlikely case, they'll match the $170K. Most likely, he'll be offered a raise to stay because the cost of replacement is not $0.
The last option isn't too bad either. He takes the $170K boring job, spends a year there and uses the downtime to burnish his resume (certifications, conferences etc). At the end of a year, he leaves for a better job...that could even be his old job (boomerangs are not unheard of). With this approach, he banks that $55K and doesn't have to burn any bridge doing so. If a manager looks you in the face and tells you to ignore a 48% offer from another company, he's not giving you good career advice.
What would you do? Dunk, layup or dribble out of bounds?