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While the timing of the Eagles’ dismissal of Chip Kelly was surprising, it gave the team the opportunity to get a head start on its search for a new head coach, and it gave Kelly a chance to begin looking for work. There’s no pressure for Kelly to get a new job immediately, since he’s still owed more than $12MM for the last two years on his contract with the Eagles. But it sounds like he’ll explore some options this winter.
As we saw a year ago, when coaches like Rex Ryan and John Fox immediately found new head coaching jobs after being let go by NFL teams, a fired head coach doesn’t necessarily have to wait long for a new opportunity. This may be particularly true of Kelly, since a team interested in his services could easily convince itself that as long as he has a talented quarterback to work with, and doesn’t get full control of personnel decisions, he could have more success than he did in Philadelphia.
So what’s next for Kelly? Given the presence of Marcus Mariota in Tennessee, the Titans have obviously been the most-cited possible destination for the former Oregon head coach, and Kelly reportedly has interest in that position. But the Dolphins, Browns, 49ers, and Colts have also been brought up as potential landing spots, and there may be even more teams in the market for a new head coach this winter.
Kelly has said he wants to remain in the NFL, rather than returning to college, but not everyone is confident that’s the case, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com. Plus, if all the NFL teams looking for a new head coach in the coming weeks decide to go in another direction, Kelly would have a decision to make — would he be willing to consider a role as a club’s offensive coordinator, or would he rather take a year off and reassess his options down the road?
What do you think? Is Kelly to Tennessee a foregone conclusion, or will the Titans opt for someone else? What do you expect Kelly’s next step to be? Weigh in below in the comments section with your thoughts!