AP Source: Reid, Chiefs nearing deal to be coach

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KANSAS CITY, MO. (AP) - Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs should be quite familiar by now.

The two sides spent much of Thursday in negotiations for Reid to become the Chiefs‘ coach, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the situation.

The discussions followed nine hours of talks Wednesday that went well enough that Reid canceled plans to interview for other openings, the person told the AP. It was unclear which details were preventing the two sides from reaching an agreement.

The Philadelphia Eagles fired Reid after 14 seasons on Monday, the same day the Chiefs parted ways with coach Romeo Crennel after the worst season in franchise history.

The search for Crennel’s replacement has been led by Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt, who intends to take on more responsibility in the day-to-day operation of the franchise. Also on hand was team president Mark Donovan, who has a connection to Reid after spending six seasons as the Eagles‘ senior vice president of business operations.

Reid had been linked to the opening in Arizona before the Chiefs put on the press.

The Cardinals now intend to interview former Chiefs coach Todd Haley, a person familiar with their plans told the AP. Haley led the Chiefs to the AFC West title in 2010, but was fired in December 2011 and spent this past season as the offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh.

Hunt told the AP in an interview Monday that he would have final say on the next Chiefs coach, rather than embattled general manager Scott Pioli. Hunt has not said whether Pioli will be back next season, but indicated that his future could be determined by the next coach.

Various reports have indicated that Reid would be open to working with Pioli, while other reports have said he would prefer to build his own front office. If Pioli is not retained, the top candidates to replace him include former Browns GM Tom Heckert and John Dorsey, who has been integral in building the Green Bay Packers into a perennial contender.

The opening in Kansas City is attractive on several levels: The Chiefs had five Pro Bowl players and two others chosen as alternates, despite their 2-14 record, and they have the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft for the first time in franchise history.

That selection could help the Chiefs fill a gaping void at quarterback.

Matt Cassel was benched midway through the season and Brady Quinn, who was playing on a one-year deal, struggled as his replacement. Reid has had success at developing quarterbacks in the past, working with Donovan McNabb _ whom he helped draft with the No. 2 pick _ during his time in Philadelphia and Brett Favre earlier in his career in Green Bay.

“What I am confident in is we’ll have dramatically better play from the quarterback position in 2013,” Hunt said. “I don’t know whether it’ll be the ultimate, long-term solution or not. We’ll just have to see how it plays out.”

Hunt refused to get into the details of his coaching search, a responsibility that he’d delegated to the general manager in the past. But Hunt did say that he had surrounded himself with the right “resources” to make a thorough, informed hiring.

The new coach will also report directly to Hunt, a departure from the previous 53 years of franchise history. The coach is also expected to have more say over personnel matters.

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