ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported that Kelly decided to return to Oregon, and several other reporters/outlets confirmed the report.
Kelly interviewed with the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles, according to reports. He was even said to be close to accepting the Browns’ offer, but that obviously did not happen.
Last year, Kelly accepted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job before deciding to return to Oregon.
Kelly is among the finest coaches in college football. He has gone 46-7 in four seasons at Oregon and has led the team to BCS bowl games each year.
There are few details explaining why Kelly decided to return to the Ducks despite interviewing for a few vacancies in the NFL. ESPN says Kelly “decided he wasn’t comfortable leaving the college game.” My guess is he looked at the two jobs — Philadelphia and Cleveland — and realized at best he’d probably be around .500 for the next two seasons, which would mar his reputation. If I were in his situation, I’d want jobs with more potential than those two seem to offer.
Oregon could be facing potential sanctions from the NCAA, which is another reason why Kelly may have been considering leaving the school.
I’d also like to hear an explanation from NFL Network/NFL.com reporter Ian Rapoport who said on Friday that Kelly was “very close” to a deal with the Browns. What happened in 48 hours since then? Did he have bad information on Friday, or did something change with Kelly?