Joe Banner: Chip Kelly Was Too Big of a Gamble for Browns

Kelly: "Hey Lurie, can I get out of my contract yet?" - Rich Schultz

When the Cleveland Browns hired Rob Chudzinski as their next head coach, Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner were reserved in their discussions of what happened with the Chip Kelly situation. For the most part, I think Browns fans have already gotten over Kelly and really aren't too hung up on him not being the team's head coach (Michael Lombardi has kind of stolen any of Kelly's thunder).

Nonetheless, it is still interesting to hear something from the mouth of Haslam or Banner on what happened with Kelly, considering all of the controversy that was taking place that weekend. In today's edition of Monday Morning Quarterback, Sports Illustrated's Peter King got the scoop from Banner on what happened between Kelly and Cleveland:

"We removed ourselves from the process. We really liked Chip. He's intriguing, a very different thinker, and very smart. But you could see he was uncertain what he wanted to do. He may be in Philadelphia 10 years or longer and have a terrific career. But the fact he committed to Tampa Bay last year, backed out, then seemed all year to be leaning toward going to the NFL, then being so uncertain with us, we just felt it was too big a gamble. If there was no ambivalence, we may have offered him the job."

I think that's the right answer from Banner, and once again, the Browns' front office should not be at fault for Kelly going to Philadelphia instead. In fact, I would say that Kelly already made his first questionable move with the team when he hired former Browns head coach Pat Shurmur to be the Eagles new offensive coordinator. He is probably the last person I would have expected a guy like Kelly to hire, although Shurmur does have ties to the organization when he was Andy Reid's quarterbacks coach for seven years.

Strike two with Kelly is that he received a pretty high contract: a five-year deal worth about $32.5 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

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