The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have identified Oregon head coach Chip Kelly as the main target of their search for a new head coach and the two sides are involved in active contract discussions, multiple sources close to Kelly told ESPN.
Kelly interviewed with the Buccaneers last week and the two sides are aiming to work out a deal within the next 48 hours, according to one source.
The Bucs will resolve talks with Kelly either way before proceeding further with their search, the source said.
A source told KGW in Portland earlier Sunday that Kelly is close to a deal with Tampa Bay.
One source close to Kelly told ESPN's Joe Schad that Kelly, a good friend of former Bucs coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden, has always had NFL in the back of his mind.
Kelly is intrigued by the challenge of coaching at the highest level and not having to deal with parents and the NCAA oversights that are inherent to coaching in college, the source told Schad.
While former USC coach Pete Carroll left the Trojans to coach the Seattle Seahawks in January 2010 shortly before an NCAA report for sanctions under Carroll's watch, the source told Schad that Kelly and Oregon are not anticipating heavy sanctions from the NCAA's inquiry into the school's relationship with alleged street agent Willie Lyles.
A source told Schad that Oregon would have interest in Boise State coach Chris Petersen if Kelly departs and that Petersen may be willing to listen, as he once did with Stanford.
Adam Schefter is an NFL Insider for ESPN. Information from ESPN's Joe Schad contributed to this report.