Oregon's Chip Kelly Drawing Interest from Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers

By Patrick Schmidt
Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY Sports

Oregon head coach Chip Kelly has been the object of the NFL’s affection for the last two seasons and from reading the tea leaves it appears this likely will be the year Kelly bolts for the professional ranks.

Two teams that are rumored to be in play for Kelly according to Bruce Feldman of CBS are the Philadelphia Eagles–who are expected to part ways with longtime head coach Andy Reid shortly after the season concludes on Sunday–and the Carolina Panthers who may give Ron Rivera a pink slip after two seasons.

The Eagles have been linked to Kelly for the past six weeks and at one point was rumored to have met with Kelly, although that was debunked by Kelly himself who said he has had zero contact with NFL teams.

The big question about the Eagles is whether Kelly views Nick Foles as a viable long-term solution at quarterback and how much say he would have with the personnel after incumbent general manager Howie Roseman signed a contract extension for four or five years in November.

I don’t see Foles being the answer at quarterback and with glaring holes along the offensive line and high-profile players not living up to their contracts such as, Nnamdi Asomugha and DeSean Jackson a big rebuilding effort could be in store.

Kelly would not leave Eugene for a program with so much work to do would he?

I don’t view the Eagles as the destination for Kelly; however the potential opening in Carolina does seem intriguing.

The thought of Kelly and Cam Newton together sounds like the perfect marriage for Kelly’s spread offense.

Combined with running backs DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert, the Panthers don’t boast a steady array of weapons that coincides with how Kelly has deployed his backs while at Oregon.

LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner and DeAnthony Thomas have found enough touches in the backfield between the three of them in the past two seasons to be stars in their own right and the same could be had in Carolina.

The Panthers fired general manager Marty Hurney in late October, and I wonder if Kelly sees the potential for a coach and general manager role in Charlotte.

That may be a daunting task for a first-time NFL coach, but if the Panthers view Kelly as the answer to this organization then they should hand him the reins to the organization.

Carolina has their arrow pointing up and Philadelphia is on the downward trend. So if Kelly is set on leaving for the NFL and these are his two options, then I think Carolina is the best fit based on current personnel and his ability to have a say in which players are on the roster.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt

Patrick is the host of “The Wake-up Call,” on Sportstownchicago.com airing Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.

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