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Teams Covet Kelly

  • Oregon head coach Chip Kelly address the media, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Oregon will face Kansas State Thursday in the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game. (AP Photo/Matt York)

    Oregon head coach Chip Kelly address the media, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Oregon will face Kansas State Thursday in the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game. (AP Photo/Matt York)

  • Oregon head coach Chip Kelly laughs as he answers a reporter's question during media day for the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Oregon is scheduled to play Kansas State on Jan. 3, 2013, in Glendale. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

    Oregon head coach Chip Kelly laughs as he answers a reporter's question during media day for the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Oregon is scheduled to play Kansas State on Jan. 3, 2013, in Glendale. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

  • Sacramento Kings' Aaron Brooks (3) shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving (2) late in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Cleveland. The Kings won 97-94. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

    Sacramento Kings' Aaron Brooks (3) shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving (2) late in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Cleveland. The Kings won 97-94. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Sacramento Kings' Aaron Brooks (3) shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving (2) late in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Cleveland. The Kings won 97-94. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

    Sacramento Kings' Aaron Brooks (3) shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving (2) late in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Cleveland. The Kings won 97-94. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • New Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam answers questions during a news conference at the Browns' NFL training facility Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Berea, Ohio. One day after ending yet another dismal season with a loss in Pittsburgh, Cleveland fired coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert, the first moves in what is expected to be a massive offseason overhaul by Haslam. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

    New Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam answers questions during a news conference at the Browns' NFL training facility Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Berea, Ohio. One day after ending yet another dismal season with a loss in Pittsburgh, Cleveland fired coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert, the first moves in what is expected to be a massive offseason overhaul by Haslam. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Cleveland Cavaliers' Dion Waiters (3) jumps to the basket against the Sacramento Kings during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Cleveland. The Kings won 97-94. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

    Cleveland Cavaliers' Dion Waiters (3) jumps to the basket against the Sacramento Kings during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Cleveland. The Kings won 97-94. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Cleveland Cavaliers' Dion Waiters (3) jumps to the basket against the Sacramento Kings during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Cleveland. The Kings won 97-94. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

    Cleveland Cavaliers' Dion Waiters (3) jumps to the basket against the Sacramento Kings during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Cleveland. The Kings won 97-94. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner, left, and new owner Jimmy Haslam answer questions during a news conference at the Browns' NFL football training facility Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Berea, Ohio. One day after ending yet another dismal season with a loss in Pittsburgh, Cleveland fired coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert, the first moves in what is expected to be a massive offseason overhaul by Haslam. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

    Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner, left, and new owner Jimmy Haslam answer questions during a news conference at the Browns' NFL football training facility Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Berea, Ohio. One day after ending yet another dismal season with a loss in Pittsburgh, Cleveland fired coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert, the first moves in what is expected to be a massive offseason overhaul by Haslam. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • Oregon head coach Chip Kelly address the media, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Oregon will face Kansas State Thursday in the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game. (AP Photo/Matt York)
  • Oregon head coach Chip Kelly laughs as he answers a reporter's question during media day for the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Oregon is scheduled to play Kansas State on Jan. 3, 2013, in Glendale. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)
  • Sacramento Kings' Aaron Brooks (3) shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving (2) late in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Cleveland. The Kings won 97-94. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
  • Sacramento Kings' Aaron Brooks (3) shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving (2) late in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Cleveland. The Kings won 97-94. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
  • New Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam answers questions during a news conference at the Browns' NFL training facility Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Berea, Ohio. One day after ending yet another dismal season with a loss in Pittsburgh, Cleveland fired coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert, the first moves in what is expected to be a massive offseason overhaul by Haslam. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers' Dion Waiters (3) jumps to the basket against the Sacramento Kings during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Cleveland. The Kings won 97-94. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers' Dion Waiters (3) jumps to the basket against the Sacramento Kings during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Cleveland. The Kings won 97-94. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
  • Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner, left, and new owner Jimmy Haslam answer questions during a news conference at the Browns' NFL football training facility Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Berea, Ohio. One day after ending yet another dismal season with a loss in Pittsburgh, Cleveland fired coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert, the first moves in what is expected to be a massive offseason overhaul by Haslam. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Cleveland — Win or lose, once Chip Kelly finishes coaching Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl and walks off the field and likely toward a job in the NFL, the Browns will be waiting to court him.

They won’t be alone.

The Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills are also interested in signing Kelly, the Ducks coach and offensive mastermind whose break-neck, stop-us-if-you-can system is already being copied in the pro game. There could be others courting the 49-year-old Kelly — a Manchester native and former University of New Hampshire player and assistant coach — but the Browns, Eagles and Bills seem to be the leaders to land him.

It’s not yet clear who will get the first crack at Kelly, who has spent the past few days in advance of last night’s game against Kansas State deflecting questions about his future.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner have spent the past few days in Arizona, where they have already conducted at least two known interviews in preparation of their meeting with Kelly. On Tuesday, the Browns interviewed Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who described his meeting with the team as “fantastic.”

On Wednesday, the Browns’ brass met with former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, fired earlier this week after six seasons with the club. Whisenhunt was a special teams coach in Cleveland under Chris Palmer in 1999, the Browns’ first season back in the league as an expansion franchise.

Reid, Chiefs Near Deal

Kansas City, Mo. — Andy Reid was in negotiations with the Kansas City Chiefs to become their next coach, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press yesterday.

The two sides were working out details and Reid canceled plans to interview for other openings, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the negotiations.

The Philadelphia Eagles fired Reid after 14 seasons on Monday, the same day the Chiefs parted ways with coach Romeo Crennel after the worst season in franchise history.

The Chiefs have a connection with Reid through team president Mark Donovan, who spent six years as the Eagles’ senior vice president of business operations. Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt was joined by Donovan and several members of his inner circle while interviewing Reid for nearly nine hours on Wednesday in Philadelphia.

The negotiations had progressed to the point that Reid canceled plans to interview for the opening in Arizona. The Cardinals are now intending to interview former Chiefs coach Todd Haley, a person familiar with their plans told the AP on condition of anonymity. Haley led the Chiefs to the AFC West title in 2010, but was fired in December 2011 and spent this past season as the offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh.

Hunt told the AP in an interview Monday that he would lead the search for the next Chiefs coach, rather than embattled general manager Scott Pioli. Hunt has not said whether Pioli will be back next season, but indicated that his future could be determined by the next coach.

Various reports have indicated that Reid would be open to working with Pioli, while other reports have said he would prefer to build his own front office. If Pioli is not retained, the top candidates to replace him include former Browns GM Tom Heckert and John Dorsey, who has been integral in building the Green Bay Packers into a perennial contender.

The opening in Kansas City is attractive on several levels: The Chiefs had five Pro Bowl players and two others chosen as alternates, despite their 2-14 record, and they have the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft for the first time in franchise history.

That selection could help the Chiefs fill a gaping void at quarterback.

Matt Cassel was benched midway through the season and Brady Quinn, who was playing on a one-year deal, struggled as his replacement. Reid has had success at developing quarterbacks in the past, working with Donovan McNabb — whom he helped draft with the No. 2 pick — during his time in Philadelphia and Brett Favre earlier in his career in Green Bay.

“What I am confident in is we’ll have dramatically better play from the quarterback position in 2013,” Hunt said. “I don’t know whether it’ll be the ultimate, long-term solution or not. We’ll just have to see how it plays out.”

Hunt refused to get into the details of his coaching search, a responsibility that he’d delegated to the general manager in the past. But Hunt did say that he had surrounded himself with the right “resources” to make a thorough, informed hiring.

The new coach will also report directly to Hunt, a departure from the previous 53 years of franchise history. The coach is also expected to have more say over personnel matters.

When asked to describe his ideal candidate, Hunt said: “Somebody who has demonstrated the ability to build a successful program, or been part of building a successful program. Somebody of high integrity, somebody who is a successful teacher and communicator. Somebody who has a high football IQ, but at the same time likes to roll up their sleeves and work hard.”

Reid appears to fit most of those qualifications.

The Eagles were just 12-20 the past two seasons, but Reid’s overall record of 130-93-1 represents the most wins in franchise history. The franchise was just 3-13 the year before he arrived, and two years later it went to the playoffs at 11-5 and second in the NFC East.

That was the first of five straight years in which the Eagles won at least 11 games, and included a trip to the Super Bowl after the 2004 season.

“He had the love and respect of every individual in this organization,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said upon firing him. “This man is amazing to work with, smart and dedicated, and the record will speak for itself.”

The past couple of years have been difficult for Reid, whose oldest son, Garrett, died at training camp after a long battle with drug addiction. Reid fired close friend and longtime assistant Juan Castillo in October and later fired defensive line coach Jim Washburn.

Now, it appears that Reid is about to get a fresh start.

“Overall the job is still attractive,” Hunt said of the Chiefs, who have not won a playoff game since 1993. “The franchise remains very well respected around the league.”

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AP Sports Writers John Wawrow and Bob Baum contributed to this report.

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