Chip Kelly staying at Oregon, spurning NFL possibilities with Eagles, Browns
Chip Kelly is staying at Oregon, a source confirmed to SI.com Sunday night. The Ducks coach will return for a fifth season at the university, bypassing potential opportunities with the NFL.
Kelly had lengthy interviews this weekend with both the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns, but he will not take either job.
Reports on Friday suggested that Kelly and the Browns were closing in on a deal. On Saturday, Kelly had a lengthy interview with the Eagles in their search to replace longtime coach Andy Reid and reportedly leaned toward that job. And he also met this weekend with the Buffalo Bills about the coaching job that eventually went to Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone.
But on Sunday, the Browns moved on from Kelly in their coaching search after he reportedly expressed doubts about jumping from college to the NFL. In waiting for Kelly, the Browns missed out on the opportunity to hire Marrone, who was reportedly high on their list of candidates.
Kelly and Oregon just wrapped up a 12-1 season that ended with a 35-17 romp over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. He has led the Ducks to BCS bowl berths in each of his four seasons as coach, compiling a 46-7 record in that span.
Kelly’s dance with the NFL this offseason mirrors his situation last year, when he flirted with the possibility of taking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ job before backing off late in negotiations. Kelly still has five years remaining on his contract with Oregon, where he earned a base salary of $2.8 million last season.
After Kelly’s decision, the Browns and Eagles will move on in their respective searches. The Eagles’ list includes Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. While they were waiting on Kelly, the Browns also interviewed former Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, both of whom would still be options.