Nine-hour meetings are all the rage this year.
There were reports that Chip Kelly was headed to the Cleveland Browns (why?), but that was before a nine-hour meeting between the Eagles and Kelly yesterday in Arizona. It now appears that the Browns – and Joe Banner – are in a battle royale for the fat man from Oregon: [Cleveland Plain Dealer]
By 11 p.m. eastern, Kelly was still meeting with the Eagles, who were trying to sign him to a long-term deal, a league source told the Plain Dealer.
Finally, at about 12:18 a.m., the Eagles emerged from their session with Kelly — after a nine-hour session, according to Adam Caplan of Sirus XM radio. They failed to strike a deal, but Mike Garafolo of USA Today was told it wasn't the end of communication between the Eagles and Kelly.
Question is, will the Browns be able to prevent that follow-up session with the Eagles from happening?
The Browns — represented by owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner — are determined not to let their Duck fly away this time.
Asked for a response to that horrible pun, Kelly pleaded*: "Dear God, make me a Bird, so I can fly far, far, far away from Banner."
But here’s the fun (strange?) part: The Eagles are dangling Mike Vick and Nick Foles like raw pieces of meat in front Kelly’s nose.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports the following:
"What the Eagles are selling [Kelly] on is two things: that their personnel looks just like his did at Oregon, with short, fast receivers. And that they’re the only roster to have two quarterbacks for the system he can run, one of whom would be Michael Vick."
Vick would make sense in Kelly’s up-tempo style of offense… it might be the one argument for keeping Vick in Philly. And Vick, reportedly, is anxious to see where Kelly goes, as he wants to be a part of said offense, whether in Philly or elsewhere. But Kelly can’t possibly be stupid enough to pin his career decision on a few smallish wide receivers in Philly and Yin and Yang question marks masquerading as NFL quarterbacks… can he?
The Eagles would have to pay Vick over $15 million next season if they keep him. Vick, hilariously, doesn’t want to renegotiate his deal, because he supposedly doesn’t trust the Eagles and thinks he could get paid elsewhere, should he be released.
Doug Marrone, the (now former) Syracuse coach who was rumored to be a fallback option for the Eagles, will be the coach of the Bills, which means the competition for Kelly between the Eagles and Browns will only intensify. Of course, Kelly could decide to return to Oregon, too.
The Eagles have left Arizona and will meet with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy in Denver today.