By Harry Allison

The second-happiest person in the NFL about Chip Kelly’s new deal to coach the San Francisco 49ers is probably Eagles owner Jeff Lurie.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Kelly has signed a four-year, $24 million deal to coach the 49ers. Three years ago Schefter reportednthat Kelly had signed a five-year, $32.5 million deal to coach the Eagles.

So Lurie has avoided millions in buyout obligation to Kelly.

Assuming the payout for each year reflects the average value of the deal (and assuming the numbers reported, which likely came from Kelly’s agent and not the teams, are even accurate), Lurie paid Kelly $6.5 million per year. If Kelly had taken the next two years off, he would have made $13 million from Lurie.

Now, he’ll still make $13 million. But $12 million will come from the 49ers, and the extra $1 million will come from Lurie.s ago.

There’s a chance that Kelly’s deal in San Francisco has been backloaded, giving him less from the 49ers now (and in turn more from Lurie) and more from the 49ers later. The temptation for chicanery surely arises in these situations, but there have been few if any instances of one team fighting with another team over a contract that was structured to take more money from the former employer.

Regardless, Kelly surely isn’t getting minimum wage for the next two years — which means that his ability to get another job right away will result in significant cash savings for the guy who fired him only 17 days ago.


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