As UCLA nears an important deadline in the Chip Kelly contract negotiations, updates are coming in. One report suggests a deal could happen soon.
247Sports’ Tracy Pierson reported Wednesday night that UCLA expects a deal “within the next couple days.” The news comes three days before Kelly’s $9 million buyout expires.
Pierson said the two sides need to work out “minor details” of a new deal. Still, they could finalize a deal by the weekend.
Kelly signed his current contract on Jan. 15, 2017. If he enters his final year without a new deal, the buyout would expire. That would allow either side to move on without owing the other $9 million.
UCLA went 8-4 overall and 6-3 in Pac-12 action this year. The Bruins earned an appearance in the Holiday Bowl, but COVID-19 issues within the North Carolina State program forced its cancellation.
Breaking down delay in Chip Kelly’s potential contract extension at UCLA
UCLA is getting down to crunch time with coach Chip Kelly. If the two sides don’t agree to an extension by Jan. 16, Kelly’s $9 million buyout expires.
That leads fans to ask what the hold up is. Los Angeles Times writers Ben Bolch, Ryan Kartje, J. Brady McCollough and Thuc Nhi Nguyen weighed in on Wednesday.
“It’s a little mystifying that the parties have not been able to get this hammered out sooner given the optics of the $9-million buyout expiring [this coming] weekend, which would officially put Kelly into lame-duck status,” Bolch wrote. “But the deal is expected to get done before then so that we can all move on. Kelly needs to back up his public comments that he loves being at UCLA by signing any reasonable offer that’s put in front of him.”
Kartje argued the ball is in athletic director Martin Jarmond’s court to make a deal happen. However, McCollough responded by saying Jarmond might actually have leverage because things have taken so long to materialize.
“The clock is ticking for athletic director Martin Jarmond,” Kartje wrote. “As long as the deal gets done by the weekend, this situation should resolve itself. But what’s the hold up? By waiting this long, it seems like Jarmond has sacrificed some of UCLA’s leverage. They have no choice but to sign Kelly to some sort of extension now.”
“Or … maybe Chip’s buyout going to $0 after Jan. 15 gives Jarmond all the leverage?” McCollough responded. “He may like Chip just fine, but Chip is not his guy. Jarmond and UCLA reps have had over a month, if they were so inclined, to put out feelers to potential candidates.
“I’m not saying I think this is about to get messy, but I wouldn’t rule it out either. After all, if we have learned anything from this ridiculous coaching carousel, it’s to keep an open mind about what’s to come.”