Consider this scenario: The contract between the Bengals and coach Marvin Lewis expires. It’s widely expected that the Bengals will pursue a new coach, and that Lewis will pursue a new job elsewhere. Then, after a few days, the Bengals realize that their best option is Lewis, and Lewis decides that his best option is the Bengals.
That’s not only what could play out this week in Cincinnati. It’s precisely what played out there seven years ago.
It didn’t go smoothly in early 2011; there were reports that the two sides would work out a new deal, and then there were reports that the talks were falling apart. Eventually, they got something done.
With the Bengals and Lewis delaying what could have been a Monday press conference announcing that the end has come after 15 years, don’t rule out Lewis eventually deciding to stay, and the Bengals eventually deciding to keep him. When both sides get a chance to consider their options, they may once again opt to stay together.
However it plays out, time is of the essence. Other teams already have commenced the process of lining up candidates for interviews.