The New Orleans Saints interviewed former Cincinnati Bengals player Eric Bieniemy - the Chiefs' offensive coordinator since 2018 who coached Kansas City's running backs the previous five seasons, for their head-coaching vacancy on Sunday - one week after the Chiefs were eliminated from the playoffs by the Bengals.
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Sunday via Twitter that Bieniemy spent nearly eight hours with the Saints in-person.
Multiple reports Monday night indicated that the Saints informed defensive coordinator Dennis Allen that he will be the team's new head coach.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Monday night via Twitter that Bieniemy's contract with the Chiefs is expiring:
#Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy’s contract is expiring, per sources.
So after getting passed over for head coaching opportunities again, Bieniemy could either return to Kansas City or be a hot free-agent OC target elsewhere.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 7, 2022
The Denver Broncos announced last month that they interviewed Bieniemy for their head-coaching vacancy. The Broncos hired Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as their head coach days later.
Last September, Bieniemy answered questions about being a potential head-coaching candidate at University of Southern California. "Well you know me. ... I am where my feet are," Bieniemy told reporters. "I am focused on the task at hand. I'm not worried about anything where my name is being mentioned."
Bieniemy, a running back and kick returner for the Bengals from 1995 to 1998, was considered a candidate by several NFL teams with head-coaching vacancies last year.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said last year that it would be crazy for an NFL team with such a vacancy not to strongly consider hiring Bieniemy.
"(Bieniemy's) track record speaks for itself," Mahomes said in a radio interview. "The type of man he is, the way he can control and be a leader of the locker room and the way that he coaches and schemes he brings to us. If he doesn’t (get a position as a head coach), people are crazy."
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This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Saints interview Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy for eight hours, per report