Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner appear to be closing in on their guy.
The Cleveland Browns are close to deal with Chip Kelly as the team's next head coach, according to a report by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Rapoport cited a source with information of Kelly's situation.
BREAKING: Chip Kelly is close to a deal to become the #Browns coach, according to a source informed of his situation.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 4, 2013
Haslam and Banner started their interview with Kelly on Friday around 2:00 P.M., according to a report by Marc Sessler of NFL.com. That interview appeared to be on going for quite some time. With Haslam and Banner wishing to fill the Browns' head coaching vacancy within the week, it was thought they would make an offer that Kelly "couldn't refuse" before the end of that interview.
It was long speculated that the Oregon head coach, who just came off a 35-17 victory over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl, was the Browns' favorite among the field of potential hires.
Now fans are left waiting to hear more information about another name that has been tied to Kelly's and the Browns since long before this search even began. That name is Mike Lombardi, previously failed NFL general manager, now working as an analyst for the NFL Network.
Adam Caplan of Sirius XM reported that Lombardi has already began work behind the scenes on free agent targets for the Browns.
How much work has Lombardi been doing behind the scenes? Source said he has been working on free agency targets for the Browns.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) January 4, 2013