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Browns’ courtship of Chip Kelly possibly includes a favor for his agent


Perhaps as stunning as the news that the Browns are close to a deal to make Chip Kelly their next head coach (we won’t not believe it until someone says it’s 95-percent certain) was the Friday night report that Browns CEO Joe Banner has informed quarterback Colt McCoy that he will be in the plans of the next head coach.

Of course, McCoy reportedly got the news more than a week ago, at a time when it wasn’t clear who the next head coach would be. Indeed, if that’s what McCoy was told more than a week ago, the news came at a time when the Browns still had a head coach in Pat Shurmur.

So on the surface the information simply isn’t credible. (We’re not doubting the reporter; we’re doubting that the “source in the Browns’ organization” told the reporter the truth.)

And now we have a possible motivation.

McCoy and Chip Kelly are represented by the same agent, David Dunn. It’s possibly no coincidence, then, that the information regarding McCoy’s future was leaked at a time when the Browns reportedly are trying to close a deal with Dunn for Kelly. It’s a harmless effort to create interest in a quarterback who has become the forgotten man with the Browns, a gesture that can help set the mood to deliver Kelly to Cleveland -- and not to Philly.

It’s not that much different than what Browns CEO Joe Banner did two years ago when he served as Eagles president, negotiating a contract with Mike Vick that created headlines as a $100 million deal but that contained a completely phony final season that pushed the total from $80 million over five to nine figures over six. And it’s smart for teams to play along in these situations; agents use such superficialities to keep current clients happy and to find new clients.

The real question is whether McCoy, who said the team led him to believe in 2012 that he’d be able to compete for the starting job but never got that chance, believes that he’s truly in the next coach’s plans. After all, fool me once, shame on . . . shame on you. . . . Fool me you can’t get fooled again.