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Questions surface on whether Bucs have an out in Morris contract

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

With the inconsistent Bucs recently becoming consistently bad, a question has surfaced regarding whether the team can sever ties with coach Raheem Morris after the season, with no buyout or other financial penalty.

The folks at JoeBucsFan.com suggested last week that the Glazer family can opt out of the deal after 2011, notwithstanding widespread reports that the Glazers exercised a two-year option on Morris after the 2010 season.  The subject came up during my weekly Tuesday visit with Steve Duemig of WDAE in Tampa, and Duemig seemed to suggest that he’s also heard talk of a post-2011 opt out.

A source with knowledge of the situation has since advised PFT that Morris is under contract through 2012.  (Duemig has since been told the same thing, possibly by the same source.)

It’s impossible to know the complete truth without reviewing the precise language of the deal.  But even if Morris remains under contract through the end of next season, the Bucs have a significant decision to make once the current season ends.

The team has three options:  (1) extend the contract; (2) buy out the final season and move on; or (3) let Morris operate as a lame duck in 2012.

It’s unusual for a team to have a lame-duck coach, but not unprecedented.  Still, it appears that Morris currently isn’t a lame duck.

The future likely will depend on the outcome of the next seven games.  Through the first nine, the Bucs have played plenty of good teams, including five in a row that currently have six or more wins.

Maybe that will be enough to get Morris a new contract, or at a minimum a chance to coach out his current deal.  Either way, the Bucs face a fairly big decision in fewer than two months.

UPDATE 8:20 p.m. ET:  The site to which JoeBucsFan.com refers in support of the suggestion that the Bucs can fire Morris without a buyout after the season has corrected its report, acknowledging that Morris is signed through 2012.

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36 Responses to “Questions surface on whether Bucs have an out in Morris contract”
  1. nfloracle says: Nov 15, 2011 7:11 PM

    John Fox was a lame duck in Carolina last year and look at what happened there…

  2. detroitrollin22 says: Nov 15, 2011 7:12 PM

    Morris isnt the entire problem.

    1. Young teams have their ups and downs
    2. Freeman’s really played like crap this year and so has mike williams
    3. They need a 3rd down back (LaMichael James???)
    4. They really benefited from a weak schedule last year
    5. Gerald McCoy’s been a bust so far in his career due to injuries

  3. seneca1ss says: Nov 15, 2011 7:14 PM

    anyone blaming the coach is ignorant. $35 Million under the cap with all young players

    It’s called “Growing pains” and 4th toughest schedule in NFL

  4. JMil_ATL says: Nov 15, 2011 7:15 PM

    Very odd how all of a sudden they are playing like a bad team. This doesn’t look like the team that almost made the playoffs last year or started so well this year.

  5. snarkzilla says: Nov 15, 2011 7:18 PM

    >John Fox was a lame duck in Carolina last year and look at what happened there…

    Yes, but. In both cases ownership/FO torpedoed the team by getting rid of high buck talent and cheaping out, so it’s probably not just lame duck status that tubes a team.

    Fox deserved better.

  6. tfbuckfutter says: Nov 15, 2011 7:20 PM

    detroitrollin22 says: Nov 15, 2011 7:12 PM
    Morris isnt the entire problem.
    2. Freeman’s really played like crap this year and so has mike williams

    ———————————–

    So you’re saying that it’s not a coach’s responsibility to get players to play to their potential?

    Then what’s the point of even having a coach? Just bring in every established superstar, and watch them lead single handedly lead you to a championship….or a 3-6 record. Whatever.

  7. legacybroken says: Nov 15, 2011 7:21 PM

    Give him one more season but with a playoffs or else ultimatum and force him to fire olsen a name a real offensive coordinator(Norv Turner would be great)

  8. jayslang says: Nov 15, 2011 7:23 PM

    Should have added a veteren or two on the offensive side of the ball. Our reciever play and running back situation have been aweful. The lack of discipline is concerning, but not as concerning as Olsen’s playcalling (every week there are 4/5 headscratchers). Dump him, hire a offensive mind ala Malarkey and we contend for the next decade.

  9. radtrigger says: Nov 15, 2011 7:25 PM

    Can’t overreact to one bad season and fire your coach. Give him a chance in 2012.

  10. beedubyatoo says: Nov 15, 2011 7:28 PM

    Man, I’m sure glad they’re playing the Packers this week. In Green Bay.

  11. ownbay says: Nov 15, 2011 7:31 PM

    The team was never that good last year as the record indicated. They won a lot of close games, and it seems like teams have figured out how to stop them.

  12. bucforever says: Nov 15, 2011 7:32 PM

    Greg Olson is the problem with the offense. His play calling sucks! They need to turn Freeman loose to play his game ala Tebow/Newton! Can’t hurt ! Doing the same thing expecting different results is insane!

  13. jigwig13 says: Nov 15, 2011 7:32 PM

    The bucs aren’t a good team last yr they beat up. on the bad teams and lost to the good ones I think they may have beaten one or two teams with a winning record last yr…this yr they have a harder schedule and they are showing what they really are…still a lot of work to do for this team

  14. tdk24 says: Nov 15, 2011 8:03 PM

    $35 mill under the cap? That’s downright embarrassing.

  15. readysethike says: Nov 15, 2011 8:06 PM

    why is Raheem such a focus when it comes to his team? why isn’t anyone talking about Steve Spagnolo??

  16. maestro323 says: Nov 15, 2011 8:34 PM

    Smh at those who think this man should be fired. First nobody doesn’t even go to the games in Tampa. More people go to Jaguar games then Bucs games and that’s just sad. Another thing is they won 10 games in a hard division in 2010 when 2 other teams had 10+ wins. The lockout obviously affected their chemistry from last year considering that they are young and needed additional time in the off-season. what @tdk24 said is absolutely right. $35 million is embarrassing considering the fact that the Bucs are owned by a multi-billion insurance company..smh when you combine all of that and not sign anybody that can bring a leadership presence in the locker room then you are ensured failure! So nobody really should be calling for Raheem’s head! Especially when Jack Del Rio has been coaching football with a piss poor win-loss record!!!

  17. atwatercrushesokoye says: Nov 15, 2011 8:37 PM

    If the Bucs fire Morris they deserve to fade back to obscurity. He has the team moving in the right direction. Look back over the last 15 years, how many times have we seen a young team look ready to breakthrough one year before taking a step back the next before finally really breaking out in the third year? Look at the Chargers in 04,05 and then 06 as an example. Teams need to learn how to win and then how to deal with being the front runner, it doesn’t happen overnight.

  18. wtf2812 says: Nov 15, 2011 8:45 PM

    How about getting some players and quit stuffing the extra cap money in your pockets.

    You don’t have to spend blindly, but you do have to spend.

  19. paulsmith107 says: Nov 15, 2011 8:50 PM

    They may have won ten games last season but didn’t beat a team with a wining record so now this year same young team with a schedule that suits a ten and six team and they are struggling go figure. THEY WERE NEVER THAT GOOD

  20. bucsfan5000 says: Nov 15, 2011 9:03 PM

    Next year is the first in which the Bucs owners, the Glazers, won’t be paying Gruden $4 million. Between that $4 million and the $2 million they would save from cutting Morris loose, they could sign a big-name head coach.

  21. cwmorga says: Nov 15, 2011 9:35 PM

    tdk24 says: Nov 15, 2011 8:03 PM

    $35 mill under the cap? That’s downright embarrassing.

    —————–

    In their defense they did bring in a great punter. A wise move for an inept offense.

  22. mikehockhurtz says: Nov 15, 2011 9:37 PM

    The bigger question should be “is there an opt out on the Haynesworth contract”

  23. r0b1b0y says: Nov 15, 2011 9:56 PM

    good coach
    horrible QB
    gazillions under the cap
    shocked they’re not in contention for luck

  24. tatum064 says: Nov 15, 2011 10:51 PM

    detroitrollin22 says:
    Nov 15, 2011 7:12 PM
    Morris isnt the entire problem.

    1. Young teams have their ups and downs
    2. Freeman’s really played like crap this year and so has mike williams
    3. They need a 3rd down back (LaMichael James???)
    4. They really benefited from a weak schedule last year
    5. Gerald McCoy’s been a bust so far in his career due to injuries

    ===========================

    1. Green Bay was young, and it had mostly ups
    2. agree there, both Freeman and Williams play have canceled them out
    3. Yes, change-of-pace back needed and LB Vontez Burfect would be a beast
    4. Agree
    5. Agree – why the hell would they sign Haynesworth and where did Adrian Clayborn disappear to?

  25. chrisco4bucs says: Nov 16, 2011 12:33 AM

    Just get rid of that dumba$& Greg Olson, please

  26. derekjude says: Nov 16, 2011 2:09 AM

    As a bucs fan since I was born, when your franchise qb throws more int’s than td’s, u cant win a division. When your d gives up 4 tds a game, u cant win a dividion. When ur headcoach is also a d coordinator, u cant win a division. When u have the lowest payrole in the league and you cant sellout home games, u dont deserve to win a division. I live my bucs and I still represent them, but ch anges are needed to be a force in the nfl

  27. bunjy96 says: Nov 16, 2011 7:09 AM

    Who is JBF?

    Doesn’t sound like someone reputable.

  28. tv426 says: Nov 16, 2011 8:19 AM

    Let’s see, what was his first season as a coach like? Wasn’t it 3-13 – after being 9-7 the year before under Gruden?
    Last year was a aberration. They had a very easy schedule and got hot – then had the luxury of playing the Saints in the last game when the Saints had nothing to play for (exactly like the year before too).

    Freeman played well above his actual ability. This year, they are coming down to earth. All the TB fans expected the team to keep going up, but that was impossible. Something I’ve been saying since the season ended last year.

    To all those fans, all I can say is – I told ya!

  29. packersrule12 says: Nov 16, 2011 8:38 AM

    Remember when Tampa beat the Packers last time they played each other?

    The Packers do. This one could get ugly real quick.

  30. duanethomas says: Nov 16, 2011 8:46 AM

    Down complain about being under the cap, when 75% of the people on here were anti-player during the lockout. D. Smith and the players now have in the new CBA, that this is the last year of teams doing this junk.

  31. adirtyplayernamedsue says: Nov 16, 2011 9:30 AM

    The sooner they get rid of this bum the better. He seems more interested in helping felons, and resurrecting the career of washed up garbage than winning football games. Even Tony Dungy ( who is a tremendous person and head coach) knew when to cut his losses. Morris has gotta go, along with Freeman, Talib, and Hainsworthless.

  32. ruggyup says: Nov 16, 2011 9:36 AM

    Someone wrote: “the Bucs ship is sinking.” Fact is, when the klaxon sounded it was the signal to ‘Man your battle stations’. Sleepy time players thought it was ‘Abandon ship”. And the captain is the last one off…………….Raheem.

  33. bucs24 says: Nov 16, 2011 9:46 AM

    Tampa bay has cheap owners but I don’t buy coach Morris or bust McCoy

  34. bucs24 says: Nov 16, 2011 10:01 AM

    clean house

  35. dukemarc says: Nov 16, 2011 10:11 AM

    Rahemm won’t get a sniff at another Head Coaching job in the NFL after next season.

  36. nunpuncher says: Nov 16, 2011 10:46 AM

    The Buccaneers haven’t been a dominant team since they won the Super Bowl almost 10 years ago. Since then they’ve been one and done in the playoffs once, maybe twice. Raheem Morris was a position coach and was given the DC job as a Christmas present and less than a month later was named Head Coach. This has been a cheap failed experiment and the fans know it. If the Glazers care and want to sell out games they’ll get a head coach in Tampa that will shop smart in free agency, not sign rejected bums, and not build entirely through the draft. This is not entirely Raheem Morris’s fault. Enough is enough with this cheap garbage.

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