Kliff Kingsbury Ditches Raiders, Fueling Speculation of Next Move, Does Chip Kelly End Up in Vegas?

Kliff Kingsbury
Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Just two days after reports emerged of Kliff Kingsbury accepting the Las Vegas Raiders’ offensive coordinator vacancy, the USC senior offensive analyst withdrew his name from consideration. This once again means Kingsbury is searching for a new job heading into the 2024 season.

While it’s certainly possible he returns to the Trojans, with Caleb Williams moving on to the NFL, chances are his former coach will do the same thing. Yet, we know it won’t be with the Raiders, so where might Kingsbury end up? And how does his decision to ditch the Raiders potentially impact Chip Kelly’s future? Let’s dive in.

Related: Chip Kelly, UCLA Bruins Coach, Eyes NFL Comeback: Leading Candidate for Washington’s Offensive Coordinator Role

Kliff Kingsbury Could Still Join Another NFL Team

kliff kingsbury
Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

While Kliff Kingsbury won’t be taking the Las Vegas Raiders’ offensive coordinator position, he still seems like a strong candidate to return to the NFL in 2024. Not only does he have previous NFL head coaching experience, but his time working with Caleb Williams, helping him become the projected No. 1 overall pick, could pay major dividends for Kingsbury’s future.

Teams are always searching for the next bright offensive mind who can help transform their scoring attack, and while Kingsbury’s time as a head coach with the Arizona Cardinals didn’t go as planned, he’s still held in high regard.

Kingsbury’s negotiations with the Raiders apparently hit a snag, and in that short time span, the Washington Commanders emerged as a potential landing spot, according to Albert Breer. With the Commanders in line to take a QB with the second overall pick, hiring Kingsbury to coach a player like North Carolina’s Drake Maye could work wonders while Dan Quinn focuses on coaching the defense.

Chip Kelly Has Stronger Ties to Las Vegas Raiders than Kingsbury Did

chip kelly
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders’ loss could end up being Chip Kelly’s gain. We know the UCLA Bruins coach is looking for a way back into the NFL after previously serving as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers, and becoming an offensive coordinator again may be his best option.

If so, the Raiders could be a perfect fit for Kelly. Antonio Pierce, while he led an inspired effort, does not have much experience as an NFL head coach. This means he’s likely to continue filling out his coaching staff with coaches who have been there before. We already saw that come true with the hire of Marvin Lewis, and Kelly could be the next.

Plus, the Raiders just hired DeShaun Foster, who worked in the same role under Kelly for six seasons at UCLA from 2018-2023, as their running backs coach. Having a coach who is already on the same page as Kelly and is comfortable running the same concepts could help the Raiders get off to a quicker start in 2024.

Related: Former USC Trojan And Son Of Hall Of Fame Wide Receiver Sets Sky-High Bar For NFL Success