Entering the 2013 season, Chip Kelly was the hottest name in the NFL when he landed in Philadelphia from the University of Oregon. Now, after two stops in just four seasons, he may have coached his final game in the NFL.
49ers general manager Trent Baalke said on San Francisco sports talk radio he was officially fired on Friday.
Kelly had three years remaining on his 4-year, $24 million 49ers contract, and the Eagles might owe him money from his initial 2013 contract. As Mike Florio over at Pro Football Talk notes, the two sides could end up submitting the issue to the league office to determine who pays Kelly for 2017 if he doesn't end up with another job.
The 49ers are also still on the hook for former coach Jim Tomsula's $3.5 million annual salary for the next two seasons.
The 49ers ended the season with a 2-14 record. Under Kelly, they set a franchise record with 13 consecutive losses, and ended the year at the bottom of the league in most offensive categories.
Kelly's worst season prior to 2016 came last year with the Eagles, when he was fired before the final game after going 6-9. He told the Associated Press that despite the losing season, this season hasn't been particularly challenging.
"Challenging? No. I don't look at it that way," Kelly said. "I look at [as] it's what you get to work with and I'm actually grateful for this group of guys we get to work with because of their attitudes and how they've approached it every single day.
"So, 'challenging' is if maybe guys don't buy in or guys are doing things that are detrimental to the team and that hasn't happened here at all. This has been a great group to work with."
Kelly was hired by the Eagles in 2013 following the firing of Andy Reid. Almost instantly, Kelly turned the team around, finishing his first season 10-6 and earning the Eagles a playoff spot. The Eagles also finished 10-6 in Kelly's second season, but failed to make it to the playoffs.
Following the 2014 season, Kelly won a power struggle with former general manager and current executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman. Kelly overhauled the roster by trading away LeSean McCoy and bringing in Sam Bradford and former Oregon linebacker Kiko Alonso. He also signed free agents DeMarco Murray and Byron Maxwell, but was fired prior to the final game of the 2015 season after finishing a disappointing 6-9.
Though embattled in his final year in Philadelphia, Kelly did have his defenders, including FOX Sports host Colin Cowherd, who said Eagles fans weren't "cerebral" enough to appreciate him.
"Philadelphia is very much a blue-collar, tough-guy 'We-need-Mike-Ditka' [city]" Cowherd said on his radio show last year in a sarcastic, tough-guy voice. "San Francisco is has always been innovative. So they're going to accept Chip Kelly as cerebral."