Former San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly has landed with UCLA, the school announced on Saturday. Kelly joins the program on a five-year contract worth $23.3 million with a “$9 million reciprocal buyout.”
I’m not a contracts wizard myself, but Kelly’s deal, as his prior ESPN contract did, will offset some of the money that the 49ers still owe him. The Philadelphia Eagles offset roughly $600,000 when Kelly signed with the 49ers, and San Francisco owes him around $12 million for 2018 and 2019, at $6 million per.
In other words, with the buyout confirmed by UCLA, the 49ers offset a large portion of what they owe to Kelly, though the exact numbers aren’t quite out there.
The 49ers, of course, signed Kelly to a multi-year deal after Jed York blew up the franchise with the firing of Jim Harbaugh, the hiring of Jim Tomsula and the firing of Jim Tomsula. Kelly earned just two wins at the helm in his first season, and was let go when York decided to move on from general manager Trent Baalke as well.
Kyle Shanahan replaced Kelly, who never really got a fair shake in San Francisco, as far as I’m concerned. That said, I have serious reservations about Kelly’s offense and how it translates to the NFL. It just doesn’t work without the right personnel, and even then there’s not a lot of solid proof that it could work under those circumstances, either.
What I do know is that Kelly was easy to work with as a journalist who dealt with him, and I genuinely wish him the best going forward. I don’t follow the college game myself outside of draft study, so I hold no ill will toward UCLA and have no problem wishing him the best.