Even before a report emerged earlier this week that Oregon will appear before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions at some point this coming year, Chip Kelly‘s name had been bandied about as a potential option for NFL teams looking for a new head coach this offseason.
The Yahoo! Sports report, though — that the NCAA had slapped aside the university’s attempt at a summary disposition in the Willie Lyles case — fueled speculation that Kelly would pull a Carroll and take his leave of Eugene before potential sanctions, at least temporarily, put a significant dent in the Ducks’ juggernaut football program.
Consider more fuel added to the speculative fire.
In a Sunday report, CBSSports.com NFL insider Jason La Confora writes that, according to league sources, “the Philadelphia Eagles will consider Chip Kelly to replace Andy Reid.” Additionally, as La Confora tells it, “multiple executives with rival teams anticipate Philadelphia making a heavy push to land the Oregon head coach.”
On multiple levels, the reports connecting Kelly to the NFL make sense; in January of this year, Kelly nearly took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job offered to him before deciding to return to the Ducks. In the weeks leading up to the Tampa wooing, the Miami Dolphins were also reportedly in contact with Kelly about their vacancy.
Thus far, however, Kelly has yet to even remotely address the latest NFL rumors that are swirling around his name once again. In addition to Philadelphia, Kelly has also been connected to potential openings in Cleveland (Browns fan writer’s note: ABS — Anybody But Shurmur) and with the Carolina Panthers.
In the meantime, Oregon will continue preparations for their Jan. 3 Fiesta Bowl date against Kansas State.
Kelly’s not the only collegiate coach to see his name attached to the NFL, though, as Alabama’s Nick Saban has been mentioned multiple times as a possibility in Cleveland as well. On that front, La Confora’s sources say it’s “80-20″ Saban stays in Tuscaloosa. My sources put it at “100-0,” but your mileage based on the Miami debacle may vary.