NFL coaching rumors: Will the Eagles make a play for Chip Kelly?

Thearon W. Henderson

The hottest name in coaching is Oregon's Chip Kelly. Could he be tabbed to replace Andy Reid in Philly?

Is your team down on its luck? Struggling to turn things around? Missing out on all the NFL's parity? Well, clearly your crummy team needs a new head coach, and the hottest name on the market this year is none other than Oregon's head Duck, Chip Kelly.

Peter King put Kelly's name together with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday morning. From King's Monday Morning Quarterback column:

Close to the end, barring a miracle stay by Jeffrey Lurie. Could Oregon coach Chip Kelly, his national title hopes dashed, be waiting in the wings? I believe he'll be a candidate to take the Eagles job after leaving the Bucs at the altar last year.

Is King's info a report or just speculation? It's probably splits the two. Kelly took the Ducks to the top of the BCS standings, until a Sunday loss to Stanford knocked them out of the top spot.

Former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti, Kelly's predecessor, said earlier this month that a move to the NFL was "inevitable" for the Ducks head coach. Bellotti cited the lure of a Lombardi Trophy as a selling point.

Whether they get to the national championship and whether they win the national championship, I don't know. To think he'll stay there when ultimately his idea of top jobs is to get to the Super Bowl, it won't happen, unfortunately, at the college level.

Kelly did not deny the claim. Instead he offered the typical talking point about focusing on the present.

The chance to coach at the next level might not be the only thing pushing Kelly to the NFL. Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports said Sunday that an NCAA investigation of Oregon for potential recruiting violations could prompt Kelly to take a page from Pete Carroll's playbook and jump to the NFL with possible sanctions looming.

There is also the possibility that Kelly could be playing the NFL card for a raise at Oregon. He has a base salary of $2.8 million this year with more than a $1 million available in bonuses.

The Eagles are not likely to be the only franchise looking for a new coach when the dust settles on the 2012 regular season. With potential vacancies in Carolina, Jacksonville, Kansas City, San Diego and elsewhere, the Luries aren't likely to be the only owners talking to Kelly in January.

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