Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that one name to consider for USC’s head-coaching job is Saints HC Sean Payton.
According to Rapoport, the Trojans are interested in Payton and his daughter is currently attending school 30 minutes away from USC’s campus.
Another NFL head coach who is likely to receive a call from USC, according to Rapoport, is Eagles HC Chip Kelly.
Rapoport expects Kelly to have “some interest” in the job, but he wonders if Kelly just wants to be pursued more than he’s willing to consider leaving Philadelphia and returning to the college game.
Earlier in the week Rapoport reports that Payton is “open to” listening to inquiries from NFL teams with coaching vacancies, but this is first we’ve heard about him being an option for a college team.
As of now, there’s no indication that the Saints would be willing to field trade offers for Payton after the season. However, the Dolphins and Colts have been identified as two possible teams that could be interested in a trade for Payton.
Payton is under contract through the 2017 season, and makes $8 million per year with this agreement.
As for Kelly, he told reporters this week that he hasn’t been contacted by a college regarding a head coaching position.
“I understand that it’s gonna happen. We’re not successful, we’re not winning, I came from college and I’m gonna go back to college,” Kelly said of the idea that he could return to the college game, via Pro Football Talk. “I hope some day to be like Coach Coughlin and win enough games where I can stay around long enough where that speculation ends. But I understand you have to ask the question. I answered it the same way a year ago, I answered it the same way my first year. It’s an unfortunate part of the game, and the other unfortunate part is there are people who have lost their jobs. Somebody, a friend of mine in Steve Sarkisian, is dealing with a big issue right now, and I wish him the best.”
Philadelphia gave Kelly more control over the team’s 53-man roster during the offseason, so he really has a job with the Eagles.
While his name was immediately brought up as a speculative option once the USC job became available, indications are that he plans to remain the Eagles head coach moving forward.