Would Bills pay top dollar for Chip Kelly?

January, 3, 2013
1/03/13
5:00
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The Buffalo Bills are scheduled to interview University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly in Arizona on Friday. Kelly is arguably the hottest prospect on the NFL coaching circuit. He's also reportedly at the top of the list for the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles.

The Browns and Eagles have deep-pocket owners who aren't afraid to get into a bidding war to land their coach. But here's the big question: Are the Bills willing to join that bidding war and pay top dollar for Kelly?

I don't see Buffalo overpaying to land Kelly, or any coach. That's especially the case this year since former Bills head coach Chan Gailey is still on the books for 2013. The Bills essentially will be paying two head-coaching salaries in 2013. One will not be working for that salary, and Kelly would command a high amount to leave his cushy job at Oregon.

Kelly's stock is high enough where he could become one of the NFL's top-paid coaches, despite lacking NFL experience. Kelly's high-speed, up-tempo offense has revolutionized the college game. Kelly also worked with the New England Patriots last offseason to speed up their offense, and New England led the NFL in total yards and scoring.

Kelly might fit a lot of things the Bills are looking for. But once Buffalo hears Kelly's asking price, I expect the Bills to back away. Buffalo has plenty of other candidates and could be willing to let the Browns and Eagles duke it out and offer more and more money to convince Kelly to leave Oregon.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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