A week and a half after telling interested NFL teams that he was staying put at the University of Oregon, Chip Kelly has reversed course and accepted the job as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
We will have much more on this here on the NFC East blog as the day goes along, obviously, but some real quick first reactions:
Having looked into other options that included Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, former Bears coach Lovie Smith and former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, Eagles brass may have been uninspired and decided to go back and sweeten whatever offer they'd made to the guy who was their first choice all along. This is going to be a very large contract -- likely five years for more than $6 million per year -- and I wouldn't be surprised if it was even bigger than that given the way this went down.
Having turned down the Eagles and Browns two weekends ago, it's possible Kelly looked around a bit at his situation in Oregon and decided the time to jump was right after all. Phil Knight's Nike money is one thing, but Kelly knew that would always be there. There has been talk of NCAA sanctions on the horizon at Oregon, and it's possible Kelly got wind that those could be more significant than expected and decided he should get while the getting was good.
Two significant concerns remain even with this resolved: Who's going to play quarterback and who's going to run the defense?
Again, much more to come on this. But there you go, Eagles fans. They got the guy they wanted all along.