- Phil Sheridan, ESPN Staff Writer
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Philadelphia Eagles fans are going to have to get used to speculation about Chip Kelly whenever a major college coaching job opens.
According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Kelly is on the list of candidates University of Texas athletic director Steve Patterson would like to contact for his suddenly vacant head coaching position. Mack Brown announced Saturday night that he was resigning.
Kelly, 50, is in his first season with the Eagles after four years as head coach at the University of Oregon. Coincidentally, Brown’s last game will be against Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30.
Patterson’s “A list” also includes Seattle head coach Pete Carroll and Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy, Mortensen reported. Kelly laughed when told his name was on the list, according to the report.
Is there anything substantial here? Very doubtful. Kelly has a five-year contract that pays him about $6.5 million a year. A major college could offer him more, but Kelly’s value is only going to increase with continued success in the NFL. Kelly has the Eagles, who were 4-12 last season, in first place in the NFC East with an 8-5 record.
Just as important, Kelly seems to be enjoying himself in his first go-around in the NFL. Will he ultimately decide he prefers college coaching? It’s possible, but it would be shocking if he chose to make such a move after just one or two seasons.
Kelly is also limited to some degree by the “show cause” order placed on him by the NCAA for recruiting violations at Oregon. That 18-month penalty likely wouldn’t deter a college team from hiring Kelly.