The Kliff Kingsbury, USC, NFL saga just might have taken a strange turn. According to Mike Floro of NBC’s Pro Football Talk, Kingsbury may resign as USC’s offensive coordinator to explore NFL coaching possibilities. This comes after USC reportedly permission for the Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets from interviewing their offensive coordinator per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Blocked by A.D. Lynn Swann from interviewing for Jets and Cardinals head-coaching jobs, there's a chance USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingbury will resign so that he can explore NFL opportunities. Story coming at PFT.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 5, 2019
If you’re wondering how the Trojans have that power to block Kingsbury from interviewing with NFL teams then look no further than the NFL itself. At the December owners meeting, the NFL implemented a rule where NFL teams have to request permission from college athletic directors before interviewing college coaches. Failing to do so would result in stiff penalties such as picks being docked according to Schefter. However Swann blocking Kingsbury from interviewing with NFL teams could result in him resigning from the Trojans.
Kingsbury took the USC offensive coordinator job over the NFL back in early December. In an interview with ESPN’s Shelly Smith, Kingsbury expressed how he was focused on working with Clay Helton at USC. It was reported that the Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets were to interview the offensive coordinator for their vacant head coaching position. Both teams will now likely have to move on to other names on the list due to the rule.
College football offensive concepts has made its way into the professional ranks and with the success of the Los Angeles Rams, Kansas City Chiefs, and New Orleans high powered offenses, someone like Kliff Kingsbury has become a very desirable name due to him being a bright offensive mind. USC athletic director Lynn Swann is stepping in to make sure USC doesn’t lose one of their most important coaches on the staff.
The Kingsbury/NFL rumblings won’t go away anytime soon and he will continue to be a name that pops up when an NFL job opens up. As of now everything is pure speculation as reports come out. If true then it’s indeed a chess game between Lynn Swann and Kingsbury or his agent.