When a reporter asked then-49ers head coach Chip Kelly in November whether he expected to be here in the 2017 season, he turned the question around, asking the journalist about where he stood in his job status.
At the time, it seemed like a diversion tactic from a coach avoiding big questions amid a tough season. But, after ESPN announced Friday it signed Kelly to be a college football analyst on a multiyear deal, maybe he was genuinely seeking information about his next profession.
And he must really like the idea of being on TV, because according to ESPN’s release, whatever the Worldwide Leader in Sports pays Kelly will be deducted from the amount the 49ers still owe him. Kelly started in Santa Clara before last season on a four-year, $24-million contract.
“Working in television will allow me to see the game from a different angle; simultaneously, I’ll provide viewers an insight to the mindset of a coach and team while offering alternative views of various situations,” Kelly said in a statement.
According to Fox Sports, Kelly intended on being an offensive coordinator after Jed York fired his head coach and general manager at the beginning of the year.
Kelly was reportedly a candidate for the coordinator openings for the Atlanta Falcons (who have a need after the 49ers hired Kyle Shanahan to be their head coach), and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Instead, he’ll be in the studio, sharing his thoughts about the game of football and how to play it effectively.
It should be interesting to gain the perspective of a respected football mind in a setting where he has no upcoming opponent on the schedule.