As he preps the Oregon Ducks for the Fiesta Bowl, head coach Chip Kelly is also routing through offers from several NFL teams.
According to multiple reports, the 49-year old has been linked to the Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, and Philadelphia Eagles. As of right now, it is unclear where or if Kelly would jump to the NFL.
Kelly has taken the Ducks to four straight BCS bowl games, and has fielded NFL offers before. He was linked to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vacancy last season, but reportedly turned down the offer because he wanted total personnel and team control.
With new ownership looking to make a splash, Cleveland let Pat Shurmur go and have reportedly target Kelly. The Browns finished 5-11 this season, but rallied towards the end of the year. Kelly‚Äôs expertise lies on the offensive side of the ball, and Cleveland boasted the 24th best offense in the NFL with 18.9 points per game, and the 19th ranked pass offense.
According to NFL.com, the Panthers could pair Kelly with multi-talented but inconsistent quarterback Cam Newton of they decide to let Ron Rivera go after two seasons. Kelly knows all too well how dangerous a player Newton can be. Newton led Auburn over Kelly‚Äôs Ducks in the 2011 BCS National Championship.
Still the Panthers have to have a vacancy in order to hire Kelly, and there many conflicting reports as to whether Rivera will be back next year.
The Eagles had perhaps the most expected vacancy in the league, as it was made clear according to several reports, that now-former coach Andy Reid knew Philadelphia was going to let him go.
Now Philadelphia has made Kelly its ‚Äúprime target‚ÄĚ, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Like Carolina, the Eagles have several high-profile and talented young players that can fit in Kelly‚Äôs high-flying system. Running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver DeSean Jackson could benefit greatly with Kelly calling plays.
Since taking over as head coach in 2009, Kelly has gone 45-7 with Oregon. Twice he was named the conference Coach of the Year, and in 2010 he was named AP Coach of the Year.