Chip Kelly turned down Buccaneers because of personnel control

Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE

Last season, Chip Kelly left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the altar. We never found out why -- but we may have a hint, here.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were on the verge of signing Oregon head coach Chip Kelly last season, before he turned it down. The Bucs were ahead of the curve then, as Kelly is now seen as the hottest coaching candidate on the market. He's being pursued by the Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles and can seemingly pick his team. And with it, he can also pick the amount of control he will have over his personnel.

And that's why Chip Kelly supposedly turned down the Buccaneers last season. Per Mike Freeman of CBS Sports:

We've seen this before with Kelly. A Tampa Bay official reminded me that the Bucs negotiated a deal with Kelly and he backed out at the last minute. Tampa officials always believed the main reason was because Kelly wanted more personnel say.

As much as I would have loved to have seen Chip Kelly in Tampa, I can't say this was a bad move. Kelly has no NFL experience and to give him full control over his roster would have been a bad idea. That's exactly what he'll get in a move to the NFL this season, though. I love Kelly's scheme, philosophy and his ability to build a program -- but I also believe in a model where a GM has say over personnel.

This also suggests something else: that Greg Schiano is not in full control of the roster. Whether he makes personnel decision jointly with Mark Dominik or whether Dominik has final say isn't really clear, although it does seem like Schiano has a significant amount of control. Still, the appearance that Kelly turned down the job because of a lack of personnel control should tell us that Schiano doesn't have full control over everything at One Buc Place.

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