USA TODAY Sports
University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly interviewed with the Buffalo Bills on Friday - and later in the day, he reportedly struck a deal to become the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
Scratch one name off of the list of a half-dozen candidates for the Buffalo Bills' head coaching vacancy: Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly are on the verge of completing a deal to become the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
Kelly, who coached what looks to be his final game at Oregon in last night's Fiesta Bowl, reportedly met with Bills brass about the team's vacancy earlier on Friday. It's unclear whether or not a third suitor, the Philadelphia Eagles, ever got a shot at landing Kelly, who will wield a great deal of authority in Cleveland under new owner Jimmy Haslam and president Joe Banner.
It's the first candidate that the Bills have interviewed - or are scheduled to interview - that has taken a job with another team. Three more Bills candidates - former Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt, current Arizona defensive coordinator Ray Horton, and Syracuse University head coach Doug Marrone - were also interviewed by Cleveland. Horton had a third interview with Arizona, and Marrone has been linked to the Eagles' job, as well. Whisenhunt has had no play aside from Buffalo and Cleveland.
The other two Bills candidates - former Chicago head coach Lovie Smith and Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy - never made it to Cleveland's list. Horton may be considered a front-runner in Arizona now that Andy Reid, at one point considered a lock to succeed Whisenhunt, has landed in Kansas City. The Bills have yet to interview Smith and McCoy; that will happen in the next day or two, per various reports.
So we're down to Whisenhunt, Horton, Marrone, Smith and McCoy in Buffalo. It's unclear whether or not the team will pursue more candidates after their busy week in the desert.