Buccaneers reportedly make Bruce Arians their new head coach with a four-year deal

Author: CBS Sports
Bruce Arians. Photo via CBS Sports.
Bruce Arians. Photo via CBS Sports.

Bruce Arians’ retirement didn’t last long. After interviewing with the Buccaneers on Saturday, the former Cardinals coach has reportedly won Tampa Bay’s head coaching job.

On Wednesday’s episode (recorded Tuesday morning) of the Pick Six Podcast, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported that the Buccaneers were expected to give the job to Arians. On Tuesday, that’s what they apparently did. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Buccaneers are signing Arians to a four-year contract with a fifth-year option.

Rapoport previously reported that former Jets coach Todd Bowles will be the Buccaneers’ top choice for defensive coordinator. Arians and Bowles teamed up in Arizona from 2013-14, during which the Cardinals won 21 games, before Bowles departed to take the Jets coaching job, which he got fired from at the end of this past regular season. The two appear to be on the cusp of rejoining in Tampa Bay, where they’d inherit a 5-11 team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007.

It’s a little surprising we’ve even gotten to this point considering Arians retired after the 2017 season and said midway through this season that the only team he’d unretire for is the Browns. But Arians has a relationship with general manager Jason Licht. He told Rapoport recently that he’d listen to the Buccaneers’ pitch because of his relationship with Licht.

It’s a nice get for the Buccaneers. In Arizona, Arians went 49-30-1 and revived Carson Palmer’s career. Before that, Arians unofficially posted a 9-3 record filling in for Chuck Pagano in Indianapolis.

As is often the case with new coaches, Arians’ primary task will be to fix the starting quarterback. Since getting drafted first overall in 2015, Jameis Winston has shown flashes of greatness but has been far too inconsistent with turnovers. During his time in the NFL, Winston ranks 12th in passing yards and 15th in touchdown passes, but he’s also thrown the second-most interceptions (tied with Blake Bortles) and has the fourth-most fumbles. There’s also his issues away from the field. At Florida State, Winston was accused of sexual assault. This past season, he was suspended three games for allegedly groping an Uber driver.

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