Phil Knight pushing to keep Chip Kelly from NFL jump
- By Marc Sessler
- Updated: Jan. 6, 2013 at 12:53 p.m.
The chase for Oregon coach Chip Kelly looked like a two-team derby between the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns, but a third party has re-entered the picture.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Oregon booster Phil Knight is making a strong push to keep Kelly with the Ducks, according to a source with knowledge of the process.
Kelly is expected to make his decision soon, but staying at Oregon remains a possibility, according to the source.
For now, the Browns are proceeding to interview other candidates, hours after losing out on Syracuse coach Doug Marrone, whom the Buffalo Bills snatched up early Sunday. The Eagles, meanwhile, are en route to meet with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy in Denver, Rapoport reported.
Kelly's whirlwind interview sessions with Cleveland and Philadelphia over the past 48 hours made it clear one of those teams would emerge disappointed. It appears both could exit this process without their top choice, and with candidates beginning to disappear, both franchises are regrouping.
Kelly came very close to becoming Tampa Bay's coach a year ago before bolting on the Buccaneers to stay at Oregon. That didn't seem like a strong possibility this time around, but with the landscape changing by the hour, nothing would surprise us anymore.