For a second straight offseason, the NFL has seemingly failed to poach Lincoln Riley from the college ranks.
There are two ways to truly establish yourself as a Big Name College Coach. One, obviously, is winning with a big program but the other is to be a guy the NFL is constantly trying to convince to work for them.
Lincoln Riley happens to be both.
The Oklahoma head coach is only entering his fifth year leading the Sooners, but it feels like each of his offseason has been filled with as much talk about him leaving to coach in the NFL as it is about what he’ll do in the Big 12 the following season.
Two years ago it was rumored the Cleveland Browns were interested in pairing Riley with former Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield, last year the Dallas Cowboys were linked to Riley, and now the Philadelphia Eagles reportedly reached out to gauge interest.
Despite all of this attention, Riley isn’t going anywhere.
Lincoln Riley won’t leave Oklahoma to coach Ealges
According to Eagles beat writer Paul Domowitch, Riley won’t be leaving Norman this offseason to coach in Philly.
“There was also a report that the Eagles had reached out to University of Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley about the opening. But sources in Norman told The Inquirer that Riley seems content to stay where he’s at for now,” Domowitch reported.
To be fair to the NFL franchises trying to lure Riley away from the Sooners, each situation made sense. Riley coached Mayfield during his Heisman Trophy-winning season in 2017, and is considered an offensive guru who could have helped revolutionize the Cowboys offense with Dak Prescott.
The question with Philadelphia was would Riley be brought into fix Carson Wentz or coach up Jalen Hurts — another former Oklahoma quarterback of his.
The answer is none of the above, as Riley is going to remain at Oklahoma for at least another season.
The constant flirtation from the NFL doesn’t seem like it’s going to let up any time soon, but any leap that Riley might make from college to the pros won’t happen for at least another season.