Chip Kelly To Be Fired By 49ers, Per Report
Chip Kelly is set to be dismissed from his position as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, according to a report from ESPN. Adam Schefter reports the 49ers are expected to make “sweeping changes” that also include the dismissal of 49ers general manager Trent Baalke. The changes are expected to be made after San Francisco’s Week 17 game.
Kelly’s firing comes a little over one year since the Eagles released him on Dec. 30, 2015. Kelly was 26-21 with Philadelphia.
Kelly’s short-lived 49ers career wasn’t very successful. San Francisco is 2-13 this season with one game left to play.
The 49ers’ firing of Kelly comes as a bit of surprise because it’s not like anyone expected San Francisco to be very good this season. The 49ers’ roster severely lacks talent and there’s no clear answer at the quarterback position. Some figured Kelly would get a chance to coach the 49ers beyond this year with Baalke getting the axe after the 2016 season. Instead, both of them are gone.
As noted by Pro Football Talk, the firing creates a unusual issue for the Eagles and 49ers regarding Kelly’s contract.
The 49ers likely would argue that Kelly should get whatever he was owed by the Eagles for 2017, and that any excess will be covered by his 49ers contract. The Eagles likely would argue that the 49ers contract supersedes the Eagles contract, and that as long as the 49ers are paying Kelly as much or more than he would have made with the Eagles, the Eagles owe Kelly nothing.
Ultimately, the two sides may end up submitting the issue to the league office for resolution. There likely won’t be much precedent, given that not many coaches get fired by one NFL team while they are still earning paychecks from another NFL team that fired him.
The Eagles are set to play the 49ers in Philadelphia next season. It was expected that would be Kelly’s first game back since his firing, but that won’t happen now.
It will be interesting to see where Kelly ends up. He didn’t jump at the chance to go to Oregon when there was a vacancy recently. Perhaps he’ll catch on as an assistant with his friend Bill Belichick. Or maybe he’ll go back to college. We’ll see.