The Eagles are still paying Chip Kelly handsomely. Despite firing him one year ago, the Eagles still owed Kelly the money on his contract, in addition to whatever the San Francisco 49ers were paying him this past season. In effect, the Eagles would pay the difference in the contracts if Kelly was making less.
Kelly signed a four-year, $24 million deal that paid him a $6 million base annually in San Francisco when he was hired. His Eagles’ contract paid him a $6.5 million base through the 2017 season. Pro Football Talk notes that may cause a monetary issue between the Eagles and 49ers in regards to who has to pay Kelly more. [PFT]
The end result — a 2017 season with multiple buyout obligations — creates an unusual situation for Philadelphia and San Francisco.
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. 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.
Ultimately, the two sides may end up submitting the issue to the league office for resolution. There likely won’t be much precedent, given that not many coaches get fired by one NFL team while they are still earning paychecks from another NFL team that fired him.
While it’s probably fool’s money coming out of Lurie’s pockets, it doesn’t count against the team’s salary cap, which is a good thing. The 49ers will be paying three coaches during 2017: Jim Tomsula, Chip Kelly and whoever their next head coach is.