Raheem Morris’ Opt-Out ClauseNovember 8th, 2011
Now before Joe gets rolling here, let Joe be crystal clear: Joe is not advocating in any way for a coaching change for the Bucs. To do so now is absurd; the Bucs are 4-4.
But if anything has taught Joe to never predict the future, it has been this week with Joe Paterno of all people, a true icon with a half-century of untarnished, pristine, stellar work on his resume, is now suddenly embroiled in the most sordid of ugly scandals that has rocked the American sports landscape to its very core.
It is with that background that Joe brings word of an interesting piece by good guy Charlie Campbell, a former Bucs beat reporter for Pewter Report.
Campbell now writes for WalterFootball.com and his main gig is monitoring the NFL draft, but he also writes about the NFL in general.
In a column he penned called “Non-Obvious Hotseats,” Campbell has four NFL coaches listed who could be out of work come the end of the season.
The fourth coach Campbell lists is Bucs coach Raheem Morris.
The Buccaneers could exercise an opt-out option in Morris contract to not have him return next season. One of the draws to Morris has been how cheap he has been for Tampa Bay. They have gotten their defensive coordinator and head coach for $2 million or less the past three seasons. Under former head coach Jon Gruden they were paying between $6-7 million for Gruden and coordinator Monte Kiffin. 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. Morris is well liked by the players, but the Glazers and general manager Mark Dominik may want a coach who evokes more disciplined and professional behavior on and off the field from himself and his players. Twice the Glazers have fired the franchise’s all-time winningest head coach in Gruden and Tony Dungy.
Campbell makes a point that Joe has made previously: Team Glazer sent community activist and fan favorite Father Dungy packing because he couldn’t get past the Eagles in the postseason, and because his concept of an offense made Woody Hayes roll in his grave.
Then Chucky came to town and won a Super Bowl. But, like Father Dungy, Chucky couldn’t develop a quarterback and found winning a playoff game dicey and he too was jettisoned.
Father Dungy and Chucky have far, far, far more pelts on the wall than Morris has.
Does Joe expect Team Glazer to exercise that opt-out clause? No.
Would it shock Joe if Team Glazer exercised that opt-out clause?
So tuck this little nugget away in the back of your cranium come January. As Joe shockingly found out over the weekend, if the saintly Paterno can be fingered for having a child predator roaming amid his football offices, any NFL team making a coaching change wouldn’t cause a ripple of surprise by comparison.
Clarification: Joe recognizes it was widely reported that the Bucs picked up the option on Raheem’s contract through 2012. However, this opt-out clause referenced by Campbell is something brand new. Joe can’t vouch for its accuracy, other than to say Campbell has excellent sources.