New Eagles coach Chip Kelly, master of a spread offense that was so potent at Oregon, met with his quarterbacks on Friday, Mike Vick and Nick Foles, and gave neither a firm commitment for the 2013 season, sources said.
Both meetings were pleasant and Kelly had good things to say about both, but Vick remains unwilling to significantly alter his contract in order to stay with the Eagles. Several teams are eyeing him as potential free agent and he is likely to depart. Vick is set to make $16.5 million next season and, while it's conceivable he could stay should he be guaranteed to make in the $15 million range, sources said he's not going to take a big hit to remain.
There have been no negotiations between the sides to this point, sources said, and the Eagles have until Feb. 6 to make a decision. Otherwise $3 million of Vick's salary becomes guaranteed.
Teams that could have interest in Vick:
- The Browns, where former Eagles president Joe Banner is now running the show
- The Cardinals, under new coach Bruce Arians
- The Raiders have had interest in him in the past as well
Pat Shurmur negotiating to be Chip Kelly's offensive coordinator
Former Browns head coach Pat Shurmur, who also interviewed with the Panthers and Jets, is close to joining the Eagles as offensive coordinator, according to league sources. It's an unusual fit, given their different offensive backgrounds, but Kelly, with no NFL experience, would be smart to surround himself with experienced NFL staffers and former head coaches, if possible. Kelly is expected to run his offense and call plays, but Shurmur could help integrate his scheme into the pro game.
Kelly is talking to both experienced defensive coordinator candidates as well as current position coaches, according to sources, to round out his defensive staff.
Ravens plan to retain Jim Caldwell in offensive coordinator role
When Ravens coach John Harbaugh parted with long-time coordinator Cam Cameron late in the season, and promoted quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell to the position, it was on an interim basis. Now, you can consider it permanent.
According to team sources, Harbaugh and Caldwell have already discussed the former Colts head coach remaining as the coordinator and playcaller for the 2013 season, but both men mutually agreed to put off finalizing anything until after the season. Caldwell, who had never called plays prior to this promotion, quickly developed a chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco, who has flourished with Caldwell at the helm.
Flacco has a strained relationship with Cameron, team sources said, and never felt as if he had much of a voice in the offense under him. He has clicked with Caldwell, and the team is taking more deep shots with him calling plays -- very much in Flacco's nature -- and also thriving in a scheme utilizing more of a moving pocket, which has helped with protection.
The reshuffled offensive line has been a huge benefit to Flacco as well, and, according to sources close to him, he feels more comfortable than ever with his pass protection, which has allowed him to keep his eyes focused downfield on his targets and not peeking down at the oncoming pass rush. That has been a big factor in completing more deep balls. The Ravens re-inserted Bryant McKinnie at left tackle for the postseason, moved Michael Oher back to his natural right tackle position (he was struggling on the left side), and moved rookie Kelechi Osemele back to his natural guard position. And All-Pro right guard Marshal Yanda is as healthy as he has been in months.
As for Flacco, everything still points to him getting franchised, which would buy time for the sides to renew talks on a long-term deal, which have been dormant since the preseason. The franchise tag will be worth $14.6 million, and the Ravens, with a tight cap situation, could use more wiggle room, which a deal for Flacco would provide.
Any deal with Flacco would likely include a significant amount of money delayed until the 2014 season, when the salary cap will finally spike due to the new money flowing in from the expanded television contracts.
Arians staff in Arizona includes Tom Moore
Arians has a full staff already assembled after becoming the Cardinals head coach, which will be announced by the team soon. Arians will end up as the only coach in the NFL with two African American coordinators -- at a time when the Rooney Rule and lack of minority hires has been a critical issue in the league -- and will have no shortage of experience on the staff as well. Todd Bowles is the defensive coordinator and Harold Goodwin, former offensive line coach of the Colts, is the offensive coordinator.
League sources said Tom Moore, the longtime coordinator and right-hand man to Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, is the Cardinals' assistant head coach-offense. Also, the Cardinals have hired Tom Pratt as a pass-rush specialist. Pratt has deep experience as well -- once serving along side Bill Cowher and Tony Dungy on Marty Schottenheimer's staff in Kansas City.
The Cardinals have several attack-minded defenders, like Calais Campbell, and Arians believes Pratt will help continue to bring out the best in them.
Arians was a finalist for the Bears head coaching job as well, with a second interview scheduled for Tuesday (scheduled even before his first interview last Sunday). The Chargers were also very interested but hired Mike McCoy from the Denver Broncos. Arizona, which also wanted McCoy, focused fully on Arians and quickly worked out a contract to secure his services.