KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs’ traveling interviewing party was back at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday morning after meeting with Andy Reid for close to nine hours on Wednesday.
And like most everyone else, the Chiefs were waiting to hear of Reid’s next move.
Conflicting reports emerged throughout the morning Thursday as to whether Reid was close to a deal with the Chiefs to be named their next head coach, or whether Reid would continue on with scheduled interviews with the Arizona Cardinals and the San Diego Chargers.
A Chiefs official told FOXSportsKansasCity.com that he would not confirm that the team had made an offer to Reid. The official, though, hinted that a statement from the team likely would be coming sometime later in the day.
ESPN reported that the Chiefs and Reid were on the verge of a deal and that “the major issues have been discussed and agreed upon.” CBSSports.com also reported that “staff and structure” issues have been worked out between Reid and the Chiefs.
It is the second time this week that ESPN has reported Reid was near a deal. Earlier this week ESPN reported that Reid was a virtual certainty to land the head coaching job with the Cardinals.
ESPN has since backed off that report, especially after the Chiefs’ contingent that totaled seven people met at a private airport in Philadelphia with Reid for most of the day Wednesday. The Chiefs’ party included owner Clark Hunt, general manager Scott Pioli, president Mark Donovan (who used to work with Reid with the Eagles), executive Ryan Petkoff and vice president of communications Ted Crews.
One assistant coach aligned with Reid texted an ESPN reporter Thursday morning that Reid is going to Kansas City, not Arizona.
But USA Today reported Thursday that Reid was still planning to meet with the Bidwill family in Arizona, possibly Friday, as well as San Diego officials over the weekend. The Arizona meeting was pushed back because of the Chiefs’ long session with Reid on Wednesday and because of the Bidwill family’s obligation to attend Thursday night’s Fiesta Bowl.
Reid may have an interest in at least talking to Chargers officials because he has a home in the San Diego area and because he grew up in southern California. Reid also may talk to San Diego out of a courtesy to Ron Wolf, who is acting as a consultant for the Chargers’ coaching search. Reid was part of Mike Holmgren’s staff in Green Bay when Wolf was the general manager there.
Other reports suggested Thursday, though, that Reid was done interviewing.
Howard Eskin, a radio personality in Philadelphia, texted that he spoke to Reid on Wednesday, then texted Thursday, “For all reports that Andy Reid is still going to Ariz… Don’t think so.”
If a deal between Reid and the Chiefs is completed, it would appear that Reid would bring along Tom Heckert as his general manager, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer. If that happens, Pioli would either be fired or reassigned within the Chiefs’ organization.
Heckert was with Reid for nine years in Philadelphia.
Reid might also bring along former assistants Brad Childress or Marty Mornhinweg, both of whom have served under Reid as offensive coordinators. Former Browns coach Pat Shurmur is another possibility for Reid’s potential staff in Kansas City.
In Kansas City, Reid would get his choice of the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, which he could use for a quarterback.
Reid might also opt to bring in Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who may be released by the Eagles. Vick is due to make over $15 million this season and had indicated he is not willing to restructure his contract. If he is released before Feb. 6, the Eagles would not have to pay him the guaranteed $3 million in his contract.