Chip Kelly Leaves The Eagles — Back To The College Level?

Well, that’s the end of Chip Kelly in Philadelphia. Now the question on almost everyone’s mind is, “Where does Chip go now?” Some football pundits have already written Kelly completely off, anticipating a move back to college. However, a recent ESPN poll suggests that most people believe Chip is staying put in the NFL.

In fact, there is already loud whispers over at SB Nation that Chip Kelly will probably be sliding into a head coach position for the Tennessee Titans.

“Considering the fact that he did not even make it through the season with Philadelphia, it would be a tough sell on a lot of Titans fans. There has been a lot of talk of poor relationships with players, and his personality and dedication to the scheme are similar to Ken Whisenhunt’s. Hopefully, the Titans look in another direction, but it is something to keep an eye on.”

In case you missed it, the Titans fired Whisenhunt in early November. The 3-12 team needs new leadership, and the trip south would bring about a reunion with former Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota.

While the position may seem ideal on its face for Chip Kelly, the franchise is currently in shambles. Kelly was given grief for dismantling the Eagles team in a way that was ultimately detrimental; here, building the team from the ground up would be mandatory. The good news is that given what Chip would start with, he would get a bit more leeway if he isn’t able to turn the Titans around in a season or two. Or maybe three. He also wouldn’t be the general manager, a job that proved too much for Chip Kelly in Philadelphia.

Should he pass on Ken Whisenhunt’s old job, speculation is that he could go to the Cleveland Browns to replace Mike Pettine. Some think it may be better for Chip Kelly to take up residence at the Indianapolis Colts, where Chuck Pagano is rumored to be headed out the door. Some are wondering if the Dallas Cowboys might shock everyone by letting go of Jason Garrett and giving Chip the open head coach position.

It’s hard to decide whether or not claims of an inevitable return to college football are premature or ultimately pointless. SB Nation writer Jason Kirk points out that if Chip Kelly really was pining for a return to the collegiate level, there aren’t any openings available at the top-level.

“Even though we had fun imagining him as the solution to various open jobs this carousel, his official exit from the Eagles probably doesn’t signal a return, if he can help it.

“Besides, the only remaining open gigs are Ball State and Texas State, two mid-majors a bit beneath Chip’s level. Though he did joke about hearing from North Texas State.”

Kelly doesn’t strike most as a man willing to take a hefty pay cut in order to coach at a mid-level college team.

With the firing of Chip Kelly such a fresh news story, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of a definite sense of what the ex-Philadelphia Eagles coach will do. He could stay in the NFL, he could somehow find his way back to the college football level — or he may take a year off to figure things out. There’s no reason to anticipate that Kelly will rush right back into a coaching position considering the mess he left in Philadelphia (and, to be frank, the not-too-discussed mess he made in Oregon before leaving).

Few think Chip Kelly will be without football in his life for very long, as the sport seems to be something that is very much a part of who he is and what he enjoys. Do you think Chip Kelly will tough it out in the NFL or somehow find his way back to college football? Share your thoughts below!

[Photo by Matt Rourke/AP]