Chip Kelly likely staying put in Philadelphia -- for now
A departure by Chip Kelly from the Eagles would come as a surprise at this point, with the coach committed to making his vision work in Philadelphia and ownership still in his corner.
Despite months of rumors and speculation, Chip Kelly is likely to be back with the Eagles next season, according to team and league sources, and ownership has no plans to move on from him. If Kelly were to depart -- and college does have a certain allure to him, though it would have to be the perfect situation -- it would come as a surprise at this point. The coach reiterated his dedication to his players last week and owner Jeffrey Lurie is still a strong proponent of Kelly.
Lurie, though aware of some of the discord in his locker room, is not mulling a change at this point, even after two blowout losses the last two weeks, according to sources close to the owner, and that is unlikely to change down the stretch. Lurie is very loyal and believes in Kelly long-term, even if players have their concerns, and he did not hand Kelly total control to the roster a few months ago to consider launching a new search for a coach and GM now. That process holds no attraction for him, and while he is displeased by the disappointing results the last three weeks and Kelly's inability to identify a quarterback of the future, he remains optimistic that a quick change could be on the horizon, particularly in a division as suspect as the NFC East.
Kelly, of course, could always opt to leave and return to the college ranks, which would come as no surprise to some of his players, but the deeper we get into December the less likely that becomes. He did not engage USC on its recent opening, and while schools and boosters have interest in him, he has not reciprocated to this point.
Recruiting season is upon us and many college jobs are filling quickly. However, Kelly's unique resume in the amateur ranks makes him very much in demand, and it is hardly impossible that a school like Texas could opt to fire its coach and make a substantial run at Kelly as late as January, should the coach opt to leave the Eagles after the season (similar to when Jim Harbaugh joined the University of Michigan last year). But the odds of such a switch so late in the college offseason are slim, and Kelly has reiterated time and again to various figures in the Eagles organization that he plans to remain there through his contract, and they tend to believe him.
Other team officials would be shocked were he to leave before completing a fourth season with the team in 2016, sources said, and they are looking at it as a fait accompli that Kelly is in Philadelphia next season.
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