Cleveland Browns Coaching Search Sunday Primer (1/6): Browns reportedly walk away from Chip Kelly

Harry How

Much to Browns fans' chagrin, the only breaking news to come early this morning on the coaching front is that Doug Marrone has agreed to a deal with the Buffalo Bills, according to report by ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Doug Marrone has agreed to leave Syracuse and become the coach of the Buffalo Bills, league sources told ESPN on Sunday morning.

Marrone replaces Chan Gailey, who was fired after going 16-32 over three seasons. Marrone has yet to sign a deal.

Of course, Browns fans are still waiting to hear about Chip Kelly. If you were following the news late last night you may have read a tweet from Ian Rapoport about where the Browns were in this situation.

This very well may have been a PR move from the Browns' brass following a report out of Philadelphia that Kelly was close to a deal with the Eagles. Such an attempt to save face in a potential loss of their widely recognized No. 1 candidate would fall on deaf ears for a fan base that has their hearts set on Chip Kelly.

One of those "neck and neck" prospective coaching hires can be crossed off for sure. Apparently, Haslam and Banner may now be warming up to former Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Both the Browns and Eagles are finally leaving Arizona after a couple ridiculously long interviews.

Now it's back to the waiting game for Browns fans.

UPDATE [12:02 PM] - Minutes after publishing this, Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer reported via Twitter that the new favorite for Chip Kelly may be his current employer, Oregon.

UPDATE [12:05 PM] - Mortensen has a report that Haslam and the Browns may start looking in a different direction, which seems to coincide with Cabot's tweet.

UPDATE [12:16 PM] - The Chip Kelly part of this search is done. Kelly is not coming to Cleveland. Mortensen reported on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown that Kelly will not be coaching the Browns.

UPDATE [6:00 PM] - It appears that the Browns have officially withdrawn their offer to Chip Kelly, at least verbally. Cabot reported this evening that the Browns walked away because they weren't sure his heart was 100-percent into leaving Oregon, in what looks like an obvious attempt from the Browns' brass at spinning the story of this ordeal in their favor.

With Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner committed to bringing a championship team to Cleveland, they weren't about to settle for anything less than a 100-percent commitment, the source said.

Sensing that Kelly was waffling on whether or not to jump to the NFL or stay with the Ducks, the Browns removed themselves from the running and flew home from Arizona to restart their search without him.

That left Kelly to decide between the Eagles and staying at Oregon, and a source earlier told the Plain Dealer that Kelly seemed to be leaning toward staying at the university.

The Browns are left having to look elsewhere, something that his been speculated since about noon today. The only confirmed interviews to have taken place so far are with Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton and Whisenhunt.

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