The Cleveland Browns’ coaching search apparently has encountered a blue screen.
With reports from Friday night that Chip Kelly is close to a deal to become the Browns’ new coach not coming to fruition, the Browns will now return from Arizona to Cleveland and “reboot” their search, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.
Per Mort, that’ll happen without Oregon coach Chip Kelly in the plans.
At this point, it’s impossible to distinguish truth from posturing. With Kelly’s agent, David Dunn, trying his damnedest to maximize the market for Kelly by pitting the Browns against the Eagles, the Browns may now be deliberately feigning disinterest.
Or maybe the Browns hope to create the impression that they never really wanted Kelly to begin with.
It’s a delicate business, with teams hoping to eventually declare that the guy they hire was their first choice, even if he wasn’t.
If the Browns have indeed moved on, it means that Kelly will have less leverage when trying to close a deal with the Eagles. Unless some other team decides to jump into the fray.