It looks like Joe Banner got his man. Chip Kelly is close to becoming the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, according to a report by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
BREAKING: Chip Kelly is close to a deal to become the #Browns coach, according to a source informed of his situation.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 4, 2013
Of course, as we’ve learned this week, nothing’s done until it’s done. But the Browns were the first team to interview Kelly, and by all accounts, had targeted him as their No. 1 choice.
If the report holds up, where does that leave the Eagles? As of yesterday afternoon, Kelly and Bill O’Brien appeared to be near the top of their list. O’Brien is headed back to Penn State. The team will now have to move on to other options. Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski are expected to travel to Denver to interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Sunday.
They also announced earlier today that they’re going to check out Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. And the Eagles have already conducted interviews with Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and Atlanta special-teams coach Keith Armstrong.
Given that Kelly’s off the market, the Eagles could take their time and conduct many more interviews next week. Perhaps with candidates like Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer or Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
For a full list of candidates that we compiled last week, click here.