Raheem Morris’ Opt-Out Clause

November 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?

Absolutely not.

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.

41 Responses to “Raheem Morris’ Opt-Out Clause”

  1. jb Says:

    SWEET MUSIC to my ears!!!!!

  2. Snook Says:

    Crossing my fingers!!!

    This team needs a real head coach. One who knows how to lead, discipline and direct.

    Morris is NOT that guy.

  3. Meh Says:

    I don’t expect us to fire Raheem, hire a DC to replace that part of his duties, or replace Olsen during the season.

    As for next year, Raheem has 8 more games to make his case. I’m not sure I see us replacing both coordinators after the year without also replacing the head coach. Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  4. stimpy Says:

    I like Rah and would not mind him sticking around. We DO need a better defense play caller and offense play caller along with a QB coach.

    Keep paying Rah his money or give him a small raise but we certainly need help.

  5. thomas 2.2 Says:

    This would be the start of our rebirth as a franchise. There is a lot of uncoordinated and undisciplined talent here. A Bill Cowher type would be an immediate substantial upgrade. The players would have a boss that they respected, not a buddy that they want to stay so they get easy practices and a late curfew.

    I am thrilled that the Glazers were smart enough to include the opt-out clause – it shows that they saw problems with this buddy style of coaching. I have no problem with Rah staying on as D Backs coach – he can be buddy from that position just fine.

  6. Jimmy Says:

    “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.”


  7. Architek Says:

    I’m not gonna oudst Raheem just yet but I’m not gonna rule anything out. Raheem has done a fine job but going to the next level requires another gear. To get to that level several minor things must change. Dirt bags on the roster like Aqib, walking penalties like Trueblood, and more. I say give him next season but they this off-season if they want to be successful they better get some weapons in here or its going to be more of the same. Then you risks damaging Freeman. Let’s see, this is exciting because now we see what the organization is really about.

  8. Brad Says:

    If they do decide to get rid of Morris and keep Dominic it was set up from the beginning. It makes sense, if they want to get rid of the guy, to not sign any free agents to upgrade the team. I think Dominic (along with Olson) should be on the hot seat more. This guy has done nothing to add depth and help Morris out. Add the ridiculous contracts to Clayton and Black and I see a GM that should be heading out as well if not more so…

  9. Meh Says:

    I think Dom has done a pretty good job EXCEPT FOR FREE AGENCY. It is ridiculous that we don’t improve this team more with free agents considering how many backups we have starting right now. Now, is that Dom’s fault or has that order come down from above? I don’t know, but the answer to that question should pretty much decide whether Dom stays or goes.

  10. Meh Says:

    Oh and the Clayton and Black contracts were terrible, you are right about that Brad.

  11. Brad Says:

    Maybe Morris is in on it too and will remain as the DC.

  12. Brad Says:

    Well if you know a new head coach is coming in you lay low in free agency so he can get his kind of guys. The draft is easy as far as drafting for need and we did that and would have no matter what coach we had. Otherwise by not going after anyone by design would be the dumbest thing a GM could do unless there’s an agenda.

  13. flmike Says:

    The name Machiavelli comes to mind.

  14. BigMacAttack Says:

    It is a little early to write off the season, but the performance on the field as of late pretty much tells the story, no argument here. It is very easy to blame Raheem for all the woes the team is experiencing right now, but you have to play the “What If – Card” in Rah’s defense. Dominick and Team Glazer did not sign Nnamdi or anyone else other than Koenen, so much of that falls back in Dom’s lap. I like Raheem and don’t want to see him go, but I would like to see him add a new DC, and I would go after Derrick Brooks. He is the perfect fit for these young players, and where LB appears to be a weakness now, Brooks knows that area better than most, including Raheem and even maybe Joe Baker. Olson was major dissappoinment early on when he became OC, but over time improved and got the most out of the offense. Now Olson has digressed and almost curled up into a shell of sorts with his play calling. Olie doesn’t trust his QB anymore. He doesn’t trust his RB, Blount, and he has been on the Lumpkin bandwagon as well.

    I look for some changes possibly coming the Bucs way with Coaches if things don’t improve but I think it will happen with DC & OC, but Rah will remain in his current position. I could be wrong, and I often am. For a “Copycat” league, the Bucs, especially Greg Olson have not learned anything this season from watching other teams, and what works, and what doesn’t.

    We’re on the bubble, just not sure who it is yet. I believe Raheem has displayed TOO MUCH respect for team like the Saints & Bears, and their Coaches. Too say Drew Brees is going to get 300 yds in the air before the game is played is irresponsible and a defeatist mentality. It sends the wrong message to your players of almost giving up before you even start. Raheem still talks too much and sometimes saying the wrong thing can really hurt your team. I think this is the case and Raheem “in his own mind” has been the stepchild to some of these other Coaches like Payton, Marinelli, Lovie and Belichick. It’s time for Raheem to Man Up, Shut Up, and Play dirty, violent or whatever it takes, like winning teams in the NFL do. Nice guys only win one Superbowl in their career, if their lucky, and most don’t win DIT.

  15. John Says:

    Joe- You’re an idiot. A 4 and 4 record and you dont want a coaching change? What do you want to give him a raise? Give me a break. The guy cant coach his way out of a box.

  16. Joe Says:


    Joe- You’re an idiot. A 4 and 4 record and you dont want a coaching change? What do you want to give him a raise? Give me a break. The guy cant coach his way out of a box.

    A 4-4 record is hardly grounds to run a guy, especially in such a weird year without an offseason and an abbreviated training camp. Hell, Father Dungy had similar records in November and people around here still think he’s Jesus walking on water.

    Joe has written several times before that provided the Bucs don’t make the playoffs, next year will be critical for Raheem Morris.

  17. Capt.Tim Says:

    Hmm, good possibility. Didn’t someone else mention this yesterday?
    It’s a thought that is gaining momentum. Personally, I like Raheem, and want him to stay. I thought Dominick really hurt him this year. No FAs, not keeping Caddy and Ruud around another year. All big mistakes- which is why I predicted an 8 or 9 win season. If we had kept Ruud( who , while not great, is still twice the LBer that Black or Hayes will ever be!!) and Caddy, signed a CB, OLB, and RB, this team would have won 10 to 12 games. I really like Foster as a run stopper, but Sunday showed us (again, what we already knew) that Foster play pass coverage. Not important for the sam backer, critical for the MLBer.

    It makes me angry that Dom set the team back, and Raheem takes the fall. It’s gone exactly like I, and others said it would in the Spring. No surprises. Just blaming, IMO, the wrong guy

  18. Capt.Tim Says:

    “Foster Cant play pass coverage”

  19. Dave Says:

    No way. They are building something here and having a little hiccup so far this year.
    He showed massive improvement last year, is average so far this year but still much better than 2 years ago, and they know more talent is needed.

    I do not think it would be fair to NOT give him another year.

    Besides, after splitting with Houston & GB, I predict they roll into the Saturday night Dallas game on a 3 game win streak looking for their 9th win.

  20. Capt.Tim Says:

    Thomas- not Cowher, he’s a bad fit. We are built as a 4-3 defense.

    If there’s a change( and I hope there isnt)

    It’s Jeff Fisher

  21. macabee Says:

    I think it’s a foregone conclusion. Already public opinion has started to turn on Morris. Just wait until you see the attendance figures for the next few home games, coupled with a season that is not going to meet expectations. The Glazers will have saved their money, satisfied the Rooney Rule, and made peace with a volatile fan base, and will gaurantee cash flow with another 5 year plan. Let me be clear, I understand ROI and revenue generation as much as anybody on this website and any businessman responsible to investors or in the case of the Glazers, maximizing portfolio assets to acquire the capital to fund global businesses, must make it priority one. But if Morris is let go unceremoniously at a vulnerable point in the development of this young team, then the next coach may as well start over, because the psychological damage to Josh Freeman and the nursery of rookies that we call a team will be monumental. I want to win just like the next guy, but for those of you who think this change will be like the Dungy-to-Gruden change and we march off to a SuperBowl will be sadly mistaken! There are no similarities here at all, in fact, they are polar opposites!

  22. justin Says:

    raheem morris nfl record is 16-21 and almost all those wins were against teams with losing records

  23. Nick Says:

    There is a god, Bill Cowher have your cell phone handy please.

  24. Nick Says:

    By the way I don’t think any of Bill Cowher teams had discipline issues but I may be wrong.

  25. Nick Says:

    Joe three years to fix a run defense that once again is mired with a terrible yards per attempt average. Nobody in the world thought the Saints would run for 7 yards per carry on us. This is what Michael Bennet had to say about it–“They switched up their whole game plan from the last time and hurt us up the middle, time after time. I suspect we had a lot of bad tackling out there.” Hmmmmm sounds like a poor game plan to me. Was Raheem thinking Sean Payton was going to sit on his hands after the litteral beat down we gave them last time and just use the same gameplan??? This is horrible coaching and I am over it.

  26. Joe Says:


    By the way I don’t think any of Bill Cowher teams had discipline issues but I may be wrong.

    1) The Steelers let Plaxico walk away mainly because he was a discipline problem.

    2) Santonio Holmes (drafted by Cowher) was given away for a fifth round pick (!) because he couldn’t put the bong down.

    3) Bam Morris was caught with a trunk-full of pot, possibly was trafficking.

    4) Joey Porter was a borderline misfit.

    5) Remember Big Ben going all Jerry Sandusky on college chicks in Georgia bathrooms? (Not his first offense for being too handsy with women).

  27. Meh Says:

    lol@Joe. That about sums it up.

  28. Snook Says:


    “The Glazers will have saved their money, satisfied the Rooney Rule, and made peace with a volatile fan base, and will gaurantee cash flow with another 5 year plan.”

    You think you’re smart but you’re not. This statement proves it. Satisfied Rooney Rule? First of all, the 1996 hiring of Dungy proves the Glazers don’t need a Rooney Rule. Secondly, the 2009 hiring of Morris doesn’t “satisfy” anything going forward. They’d still have to interview a minority candidate if the position were to become vacated. Get a clue. I didn’t even read the rest of your post after this moronic statement.

  29. gotbbucs Says:

    capt. tim, we’re on the same page on this one. jeff fisher is the guy. if things continue on the same track i think morris will be forced to can his oc and get a dc in here or lose his job if he chooses to stay the current course.

  30. Tye Says:

    If this season starts “circling the drain” then Morris and this regime has had 3 years to work it out, which should be plenty of time to prove if it was a good choice or not!

    With the record showing most wins coming against weak opponents, it is not very convincing as to why these coaches deserve yet another year (season) and quite possibly set the BUCS back more from becoming a respectable and HOPEFULLY even a feared team in the NFL… Now as far as WHO, if it comes to it, should replace Morris is another issue… I have heard many rumors about Cowher but he will likely be heavily sought after and come at a price the Glazers aren’t willing to pay… I am curious as to whether Jeff Fisher is still wanting to coach and how he would fit in to the BUCS franchise.

  31. Nick Says:

    Joe you prove my point, the Rooneys and Cowher got rid of the bad apples. We keep them and expect different results when they just keep screwing up. Joe please don’t tell me Cowher would put up with Talib cussing him out in front of other teammates because he violated curfew and he didn’t think he should have one?????? Or do you think he would be giving Winslow every other practice off to save his sore knee when he can’t run a proper route to save his life?

  32. macabee Says:

    Snook, Let me offer 3 things for you to consider: (1) When you call names most clinical psychologist suggest that it is an infantile attempt to get attention and could be a cry out for psychological help. (2) Illiteracy implies not only the ability to pronounce words, but to also comprehend what is being read. (3) A wise man once said it is better to be thought of as a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. You evidently assumed that I said satisfaction of the Rooney Rule means that once you hire a minority coach you are for evermore excluded from conducting a minority search or that some period of time has to expire before being required to do so again. To the contrary and never said anything close to that! This is where literacy and comprehension becomes important. My statement is one of simple fact – They hired a minority coach, they satisfied the Rooney Rule. I need go no further! Reading is Fundamental!

  33. Eric Says:

    Rah vs. Bill Cowher? Seriously? That even needs discussing? Seriously?

    I cant see any change happening unless the bucs go 0-8 or 1-7 in the second half of the season.

    Cowher would be the best coaching hire in bucs history, IMO. Nobody else comes close to his credentials.

    But the man might actually want to use a teeny bit of free agency, and of course that cannot be tolerated.

    Plus Dom has a long term deal and Bill probably would want his own personnel folks. I think I read he already has people in place in case he decides to coach again.

    Probably nothing more than a pipe dream, unless the Glazers revert back to 2002 approach. You know when we were the toast of the league and all.

    The only very outside shot is if Cowher thinks with Josh he can build a big winner. Having a good young QB might be a good calling card. Plus Blount is Bus #2, and Cowher wouldnt run him 13 times in a critical game. More like 25 times.

    Nah, too good to be true. Gonna have to endure this guy another year, unfortunately. Damned depressing if you ask me.

  34. Meh Says:

    That’s a hell of a correction, but I completely forgot about that too so I’m not pointing fingers.

    Well if we’re keeping Rah for next year, I can hope for a shiny pair of new coordinators for christmas this year.

  35. JK Says:

    Stinkin Gruden! When is he going to leave you and the Glazerhouses alone!

  36. BigMacAttack Says:

    I like Brian Billick more than Bill Cowher. Personally, fi they were going to replace Raheem, I’d like to see them hire Derrick Brooks. Again it may take a little time for Derrick but he has a great defensive mind. I think we are jumping the gun still, but Raheem could use a DC to lighten his load, like the aforementioned. Greg Olson is also in a big slump and can not fool any other DC’s right now, and most of us fans know what he is going to run. He’s not really fooling anyone this year. Another problem I see is a lack of down/up field blocking and no speed to run around the ends. The O line may create holes or do their job in tight, but no one can get the blocks on the second level. I’d like to think they are just in a slump and the injuries are hurting their progress, but it appears to be a little deeper than that.

  37. BigMacAttack Says:

    At least we have a home game this week……. against another super high powered offense. The prognosis for me Sunday is early to the game and drinking profusely.

  38. scott Says:

    It’s actually three times the Glazers have fired the winningest coach in team history. Before Dungy Sam Wyche had the best overall winning percentage in team history and they fired him when they took over.

  39. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I’m not sold on Bill Cowher for a number of reasons. )By the way, I met Cowher while he was coaching Pittsburgh and he was extremely friendly, so I do not dislike him at all) First of all, he coached in Pittsburgh. Every coach has been successful, because they are probably the best run organization in football. They are actually patient with their coaches too (imagine that). Second, he has been out of football for quite a while. Rarely do coaches take that much time off and come back successfully. Third, I’m not sure his desire to coach is really there. If it was, he would be coaching already, not dropping his name every so often to make as much money as possible if he does decide to come back (I realize it is his agent that actually does this).

    It doesn’t really matter, because we aren’t getting rid of Morris, nor should we. Many of you “fans” can b!tch and moan all day for it to happen, but (aside from a complete meltdown) it’s just not going to. He deserves more time, especially due to the extreme youth on our team. Patience with coaches is a rarity nowadays, but smart teams that win consistently all have patience in common. There’s a reason for that.

  40. Joke Says:

    So Joe, does this Campbell guy have any backup on the opt-out clause, or was he mistaken.

    Given that they just picked up the option, I assume the opt-out would require a buyout of some sort. Probably wouldn’t save all that much fromt he $2mil they’d pay him anyway.

    And you people are crazy. Morris just went 10-6 with the youngest team in the league, and he’s now 4-4 with the youngest team in the league. It would take a complete collapse (say one win in next 8) for the team to even consider dropping him.

    Odds are this team is going to finish somewhere between 7-9 and 10-6, and there isn’t going to be a single credible peep about replacing Morris.

  41. Joke Says:

    Joe, can you disable smilies? The fact that I can’t write the numeral 8 followed by a close-parenthesis is retarded.