The Buccaneers need something to reinvigorate a franchise that can’t give away tickets to its games. And since it won’t be a new quarterback (for now), they’ll need to do it with a new coach.
That’s the current plan. Per a league source, the Buccaneers fully intend to make a big splash with their next hire.
This meshes with the recent report from David Haugh of 670 The Score in Chicago that the Buccaneers are willing to pay $10 million per year. That’s not just a number that would go to Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly (in whom the Bucs have interest, per Haugh), but to whoever they end up landing.
Other candidates possibly include Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and Baylor coach Matt Rhule.
Why rule out anyone at this point? With recently-former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer not completely closing the door on coaching again, bringing him back to the vicinity of Gainesville would definitely be a big splash — and $10 million per year could go a long way toward getting him to tolerate that arachnoid cyst.
Then there’s former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who has expressed interest in the job (even though he previously said he’d only want the Browns job). He could emerge as a serious candidate, too, given his link to G.M. Jason Licht, who was in Arizona for a year with Arians.
Ultimately, the goal will be for Licht to make the kind of hire that secures his own future. Unlike most General Managers, Licht is getting a chance to hire more than two head coaches. He’s getting a third, and he surely won’t get a fourth. This one needs to count, and that’s what the Bucs are trying to do.