Chip Kelly’s business plan is sound: Get fired, collect all the money

If you think about it, there isn’t much upside to being an NFL coach. You get all the blame when things go wrong, and your failures play out before millions of people. But the money is good, and the money when you get fired is really good, considering that NFL coaching contracts are guaranteed.

I bring all this up because Chip Kelly just got fired for the second time in what basically amounts to one calendar year, this time by the 49ers. And so we have this odd situation: Kelly is going to be getting paid by two NFL teams not to coach, and if he gets hired again he’ll be getting paid by three.

John Breech of CBS Sports summarizes it all nicely: Kelly still had two years worth $6.5 million each left on his contract when the Eagles fired him after the 2015 season, but then the 49ers’ hired him on a four-year deal with $6 million annually. And so this season, because of the offset language that’s present in just about every NFL coaching contract, Kelly was paid $6 million by the Niners and $500,000 by the Eagles.

But what happens now that he’s been fired again is anyone’s guess. Kelly still is owed $6.5 million in 2017 and $6 million in both 2018 and 2019, and by simply doing nothing over the next three seasons he’ll get all that, but it’s uncertain which teams will be on the hook for all that and for how much.

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“The 49ers likely would argue that Kelly should get whatever he was owed by the Eagles for 2017, and that any excess will be covered by his 49ers contract,” Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio explained on Saturday. “The Eagles likely would argue that the 49ers contract supersedes the Eagles contract, and that as long as the 49ers are paying Kelly as much or more than he would have made with the Eagles, the Eagles owe Kelly nothing.”

Florio says the two teams might have to leave it up to the NFL office to decide.

And if Kelly lands another job, either as a head coach (which seems unlikely) or as an assistant (which seems more likely), he’d then be potentially getting paid by three teams.

“I’ll go be an offensive coordinator somewhere,” Kelly told Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer.