A week ago, it was reported that the Philadelphia Eagles would make “a heavy push” for Oregon’s Chip Kelly.
Apparently, and not so unexpectedly, the Eagles could have some significant competition for Kelly’s coaching services.
According to SiriusXM radio’s Adam Caplan, Kelly is the No. 1 choice of the Cleveland Browns to replace Pat Shurmur as head coach. Caplan noted that Joe Banner, the Browns’ new president, and Kelly’s agent, David Dunn, have what’s previously been a strong working relationship.
Kelly has previously been connected to the Browns by multiple media outlets, as well as to the Carolina Panthers.
As we’ve previously noted, and 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.
Additionally, there’s the looming potential of NCAA sanctions that could set Kelly on a Pete Carroll-esque course to the NFL. In December, it was reported that Oregon will appear before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions at some point in the spring of 2013. At that point, the Ducks, including Kelly, would be compelled to answer questions from the NCAA regarding allegations of improprieties connected to so-called street agent Willie Lyles.
Regardless of whether it’s the Browns or Eagles or Panthers, most NFL insiders and those connected to the college game would consider it a monumental upset if Kelly didn’t leave the Ducks for the professional ranks.
And, if Kelly were to leave Eugene as most expect? The Chris Petersen-to-UO rumors will commence in earnest within a nanosecond. While Petersen has rebuffed numerous offers from big-time programs over the past few years, the Oregon job would mark the most significant and serious challenge to the Boise State administration’s efforts to keep him with the Broncos.