Chip Kelly, Cleveland Browns very close to deal

  • By Dan Hanzus
  • Updated: Jan. 5, 2013 at 02:37 a.m.

The Cleveland Browns just might have their man.'s Ian Rapoport reported Friday that University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly is close to a deal to become the Browns' next head coach, according to a source informed of his situation.

Kelly met with Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner on Friday, the most recent of several interviews the team conducted this week in Arizona. Kelly has been at the top of the Browns' wish list as a replacement for fired coach Pat Shurmur, and the team has been expected to make a full-court press to land the hottest name on the coaching market.

Kelly also was supposed to meet with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, but a person familiar with the interviews told The Associated Press that team is "heading in another direction" because Kelly is close to landing with the Browns. However, the Buffalo Bills announced via Twitter that Kelly also had interviewed for their head-coaching vacancy Friday night.

Known for his innovative offensive approach, Kelly has gone 46-7 as Oregon's coach and is coming off a Thursday win over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. He said after the victory that he'd like to have the process of determining his future "wrapped up quickly."

Landing Kelly would be a seismic development for a Browns franchise that has been largely rudderless since re-entering the NFL in 1999. If Cleveland closes the deal, it will stand as a big statement in an AFC North overdue for a shift in power.