After some brief flirtations with the NFL, including talks with both the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles, reports are surfacing that Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly is staying put in Eugene.
Well-regarded NFL analyst Adam Schefter tweeted the following just minutes ago:
Chip Kelly turned down a chance to go to the NFL and to returned to Oregon, according to sources. Considered Eagles but stayed at Oregon.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 7, 2013
Kelly’s decision to stay with Oregon isn’t necessarily all that surprising given his ability in recent years in bringing the program to a level of national dominance, but the reasons why he flirted with NFL opportunities could be varied. Some believe Kelly’s interest in discussing NFL opportunities was nothing more than a leverage play by Kelly and his agent in an effort to get even more money out of an Oregon administration which he has stretched thin to the tune of an annual $4 million salary and a total package of around $3 million per year for his team of assistants.
Then again, it could be that Kelly did indeed have a more serious interest in taking a shot at the professional level this time around, and the opportunities available just weren’t a strong fit. Cleveland is far from paradise at this point in the franchise’s life — in spite of some strong, young talent — and Philadelphia is most definitely in flux after the recent departure of Andy Reid and the uncertainty regarding the status of some of the franchise’s key players.
With Oregon’s murky relationship with Texas street agent Willie Lyles still looming in the background, Chip Kelly is hardly living in a paradise without complications. But, after all, what job is better than Oregon at this point in time. Nike is right in the backyard, and its presence alone will continue to deliver first-tier talent to Eugene from across the country as long as the Ducks are out from under the umbrella of sanctions.
With an ever-improving reputation the Oregon Ducks are a power on the rise and it appears at least in the short-term Chip Kelly will continue to be steering the ship.