As of this posting, 31 NFL teams have a head coach. One doesn’t: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bucs almost had a coach recently.
On Sunday night, reports emerged that Kelly was close to a deal to become the ninth coach in franchise history. By early Monday, Kelly had withdrawn his name from consideration.
So how close did he come to taking the job? Michael Berk of KGW, who broke the news that a deal was close, recently told WDAE radio in Tampa (via JoeBucsFan.com) that Kelly indeed had accepted the job — and that Oregon had given Kelly’s title to offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich. So Kelly had to actually get his job back, after he had a change of heart.
Kelly ultimately turned his back on a big raise. Per Berk, the offer was in the range of $6 million per year.
Whether the Bucs will break out that much cash for Plan B (or Plan C . . . or Plan D), isn’t known. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times addressed the situation in full detail during a Wednesday appearance on PFT Live.