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Commanders finalizing deal to hire Eric Bieniemy as new offensive coordinator

Eric Bieniemy is leaving Kansas City on top.

Just days after celebrating his second Super Bowl triumph, the longtime Chiefs offensive coordinator is finalizing a deal to become the new OC in Washington, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Friday, per a source.

The hiring should be made official by Saturday if all goes well, according to Rapoport, who added that Bieniemy would also gain the title of assistant head coach for the Commanders.

Washington has since announced the hiring of Bieniemy.

Bieniemy, whose Chiefs contract expired at the end of the season, will take over an OC spot vacated when Washington fired Scott Turner on Jan. 10. The 53-year-old Bieniemy also creates an opening at OC for the reigning Super Bowl champions after manning the position the last five seasons.

Rapoport also reported on Friday that Matt Nagy is emerging as the top in-house choice to fill Bieniemy's duty as OC in Kansas City, per a source. The former Bears head coach spent 2022 in K.C. as a senior assistant and quarterbacks coach.

A former collegiate and professional running back, Bieniemy began his coaching career at his alma mater, the University of Colorado, in 2001. He made a number of stops in the collegiate and professional ranks before finding a home in Kansas City under Andy Reid in 2013, rising from running backs coach to offensive coordinator in 2018.

That season coincided with the beginning of Patrick Mahomes' NFL career as a starting quarterback, a year in which Mahomes threw for 5,097 yards, posted a 50-12 touchdown-to-interception ratio and won his first NFL MVP award. It was only the beginning for the Chiefs, who have since reached the AFC Championship Game in five straight seasons, made three Super Bowls, and won two of them in the last four years.

With Mahomes leading the way and Bieniemy supporting Reid, the Chiefs have transformed into one of the most creative and explosive offenses in NFL history. Since Bieniemy ascended to offensive coordinator, the Chiefs have ranked first in total yards per game three times (2018, 2020, 2022), and finished in the top six twice (2019 and 2021).

Bieniemy's name has frequently appeared in the discussion regarding head-coaching candidates, however he hasn't yet accepted job at the helm of another NFL club. His role beneath Reid -- who still calls plays in Kansas City -- could explain Bieniemy remaining an offensive coordinator for this long despite serving as a key assistant for one of the league's premier offenses.

While it is a lateral move in terms of title, Bieniemy's expected move to Washington presents him with the first opportunity to take full control of an offense and potentially prove his worth as a coach who is no longer working in the long shadow cast by Reid. He'll arrive to a challenge in Washington, where the Commanders lack a clear-cut option at quarterback and are entering the 2023 offseason with second-year passer Sam Howell as their top quarterback.

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