Our pal Warren McCarty of ESPN 1440 in Amarillo, who has a track record with us of tracking down good info, tells us that sources close to the action in Tampa say that coach Raheem Morris will be back for a second season.
The development comes notwithstanding recent reports that the Buccaneers have reached out to former Steelers coach Bill Cowher.
Per McCarty, Morris and his staff have been told that they’ll be back for 2010.
If the power-that-be in Tampa have told Morris and company the truth, this leaves Cowher with one fewer option for 2010. And with the Panthers also reportedly not in play (for now at least), Cowher might have a hard time finding a team that will pay him $10 million per year and give him the keys to the car.
Buffalo remains an option, if Cowher would be given final say over personnel and if he’d get the price he wants. Chicago could be in play, too, if Cowher would be willing to let G.M. Jerry Angelo call the shots — or if Angelo gets fired along with coach Lovie Smith.
Tennessee could be an destination, if owner Bud Adams decides that it’s time to replace the guy who has been on the job longer than any other NFL coach with the guy who had held that distinction before leaving the Steelers.
Seattle is looking for a G.M., and the Seahawks could decide to fire Jim Mora and turn the operation over to Cowher, who would then hire a G.M.
Then there’s the possibility of a surprise, with a team like the Lions, the Giants, or the Jets cleaning house in the hopes of catching Cowher.
The Cowboys could be interested, but only if owner/G.M. Jerry Jones would be willing to get out of the way and let Cowher call the shots. (And that’s a Texas-sized “if”.)
Bottom line? Cowher might have waited a year too long to get back in, and he might have to wait a year longer in order to find the right fit.
Or two years longer, if the NFL remains on course for a lockout in 2011.