The Philadelphia Eagles made Chip Kelly one of the highest-paid coaches in the NFL, giving him a five-year contract worth $32.5 million, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The lucrative deal, which is worth $6.5 million annually, was a crucial factor in Kelly's decision to join the Eagles after originally deciding to remain at Oregon, according to the source.
This is a lot of dough for having yet to actually coach in an NFL game.
Even with three Pac-12 titles and four straight BCS bowl appearances while at Oregon—including the 2010-11 BCS national title—that's still college football. At the same time, though, Kelly did conduct offenses led by three different quarterbacks—Jeremiah Masoli (2009-10), Darron Thomas (2010-11 and 2011-12) and Marcus Mariota (2012-13).
In Philadelphia, the youngster Nick Foles and veteran Michael Vick are his current options.
And Vick has a ridiculous contract as well.
Despite putting up impressive numbers by accounting for 30 total touchdowns (21 pass, 9 rush), only 6 interceptions, a 62.6 completion percentage and just over 3,000 passing yards in 2010-11, consistency must be proven.
The result was a bogus contract for Vick, who is now holding the Eagles salary cap hostage: Just like Mark Sanchez with the New York Jets. The subsequent season from receiving that contract, Philly and Vick immensely underachieved in 2011-12 by going 8-8 and missing the postseason.
Did Chip Kelly deserve such a major contract?
The 2012-13 campaign was expected to be better because the Eagles did close out 2011-12 on a four-game win streak. Instead, another disappointing season that included a combined 19 fumbles between Vick and Foles.
Vick's contract was so absurd because he failed to live up to those expectations. Had he proven to maintain a high level of consistency—along with stronger postseason success—then he can get paid.
The same can be said for Kelly.
Provided he does turn the Eagles around then great. But the worst-case scenario remains a playoff absence and continued frustration. Without question; however, the Eagles do possess the talent to contend for an NFC playoff berth.
Plus it's not like the NFC East is one of the most dominant of divisions either.
On the bright side, Kelly shined what feels like optimism regarding Vick. Per Lindsay Jones of the USA Today:
"It was kind of, sit down, tell me about yourself. See where he's coming from. I really liked my meeting with Mike," Kelly said Monday after the first day of Senior Bowl practices.
The Eagles are facing a Feb. 6 deadline with Vick, who will be due a $3 million roster bonus. Philadelphia can cut Vick, keep him and try to make him part of Kelly's new offense, or give him the bonus and try to trade him in March, when the new NFL season begins. Vick's reluctance to renegotiate his contract could hamper trade opportunities.
Nevertheless, fronting a contract to a guy with no NFL experience is quite the risk. There's also a limited amount of patience that resides throughout the pro football spectrum.
Otherwise, one-fourth of the league wouldn't be looking for a new head coach. Nor would multiple teams resort to the backup quarterback. Factor the dire need of victory Eagles fans are hungry for—Kelly's contract and the lack of success in recent years—the pressure has astronomically intensified.
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