KANSAS CITY, MO. (AP) - Andy Reid pulled up to Arrowhead Stadium in a black SUV on Friday, stepped out of it wearing a dark suit and red tie, and walked briskly toward the doors of the Kansas City Chiefs‘ home.
All that was left was to make his hiring official.
The longtime Eagles coach has agreed to a five-year deal to become coach of the Chiefs, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the terms of the contract.
The people also said that Reid has already begun assembling a staff.
It’s expected that Reid will pursue longtime Packers personnel man John Dorsey or former Browns GM Tom Heckert _ or perhaps both of them _ to work with him in the front office.
Reid inherits a team that went 2-14, matching the worst record in franchise history. But he’ll also have the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, and with five players voted to the Pro Bowl this season, Kansas City has building blocks in place to make a quick turnaround.
Hunt promised to be thorough and efficient in finding a replacement for Romeo Crennel, who was fired Monday after his first full season. The Chiefs interviewed Atlanta assistants Dirk Koetter and Keith Armstrong on Tuesday before flying to Philadelphia to meet with Reid.
Nine hours of negotiations on Wednesday went well enough that Reid called off interviews in Arizona and San Diego, and the two sides continued working out details on Thursday.
Reid arrived in Kansas City aboard a chartered jet Friday afternoon and drove with Hunt and other Chiefs officials to Arrowhead Stadium. He later visited the team’s training complex while the final details on his contract were being worked out.
The fresh start afforded by the Chiefs should be welcomed by Reid, who endured a difficult season on the field and an even more trying time away from it. Reid’s oldest son, Garrett, died during training camp after a long battle with drug addiction, and then the Eagles _ expected to contend for a division championship _ struggled to a 4-12 finish.
Long considered one of the NFL’s bright offensive minds, Reid had a record of 130-93-1 in 14 seasons in Philadelphia. He took a team that was 3-13 the year before his arrival and, in only two years, finished 11-5 and second in the NFC East. That began a stretch of five straight years in which Reid won at least 11 games, including one trip to the Super Bowl.