Kingsbury, 39, was one of five known candidates to interview for the position left vacant by Steve Wilks, who was sacked on New Year's eve following a 3-11 season.
However, with the emergence of Browns interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens during the second half of the season, Cleveland no longer has to look for an offensive coach to pair with Mayfield. Kingsbury reportedly interviewed with the Jets on Monday. National Football League teams that tried to talk to him were blocked by USC.
If the sought-after coach does wind up leaving, the Trojans are in serious trouble.
The NFC West, by the way, suddenly features the following four coaches (ages in parentheses): Kingsbury (39), Sean McVay (32), Kyle Shahahan (39), and Pete Carroll (67). Now they will be back to square one in a market that is dried up. USC can't wait forever to find out if he's going to be their offensive coordinator or not. Reports are that teams love him as a play caller. The Arizona Cardinals are expected to hire Kliff Kingsbury as their new head coach, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Peter Schrager.
Kingsbury would certainly break the mold.
But it's worth noting that Kingsbury had difficulty winning games at Texas Tech, where he posted a 35-40 record. Kingsbury has been deemed a quarterback whisperer, having a hand in developing the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Case Keenum, Davis Webb and Johnny Manziel.
A year after stiffing the Colts - verbally agreeing to become their head coach before backing out - he's throwing in the towel early.