Kelly is still Oregon's head football coach, but for how long?
The two parties met for several hours Friday, discussing and outlining, presumably, parameters for a contract and the potential delegation of responsibilities. However, according to various reports, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly and the NFL's Cleveland Browns have yet to reach a contract agreement that would name Kelly the 14th full-time head coach in Browns history. ESPN Senior NFL Analyst Chris Mortensen reports that Kelly and the Browns discussed the vacant Cleveland head coaching position for roughly five hours Friday, walking away with an agreement to meet again Saturday night after Kelly completed interviews with the Buffalo Bills and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Buffalo met with Kelly late Friday following his sit down with Cleveland, and the NFL Network's Albert Breer reports that Philadelphia will have lunch with Kelly Saturday before Oregon's fourth-year coach re-meets with Cleveland for dinner this evening.
According to Mortensen, while no contract agreement is currently known to be in place between Kelly and the Browns, the Manchester (N.H.) native is thought to be the clear front runner for the Browns and vice versa, as both sides reportedly see "no significant obstacles that would prevent a contract being completed if they decide to move forward Saturday night."
Said one league source to Browns' beat writer Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Be ready for something to happen today,'' referring to a completed contract between Kelly and the Browns. The same source also indicated to the Plain Dealer that if the Browns and Kelly were unable to reach an agreement Saturday, that every effort would be made to have a deal in place before Monday.
One potential hang-up in Cleveland's negotiations with Kelly could be the Browns' lack of enticing options at quarterback, says Mortensen, who suggests that Kelly doesn't necessarily see his quarterback of the future out of the group consisting of Thad Lewis, Colt McCoy, and last season's starter, rookie Brandon Weeden. If true, the prevailing thought is that Cleveland will attempt to find a suitable starter for Kelly either through the draft, free agency, or a trade.
One league source has told CBS Sports' National NFL Insider Mike Freeman that Kelly is playing, "the best game of hardball" he has ever seen, suggesting Kelly is attempting to gain as much power over player personnel decisions as possible, which could be a concession that the Browns -- and other NFL franchises -- are unwilling to make.