Despite GM Mark Dominik receiving a contract extension, the Bucs are not holding contract talks with head coach Raheem Morris. Morris’ camp would prefer to wait until after the 2011 season to strike a new deal.
After general manager Mark Dominik was signed to a four-year contract extension by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on April 11, many believed that one of Dominik’s first orders of business would be to sign head coach Raheem Morris to a contract extension. Currently, the Bucs are not undertaking any contract negotiations for Morris, and right now there are no plans to do an extension this year.
After the 2010 season, the Bucs exercised an option in Morris’ contract on January 8 to retain him for the 2011 and 2012 seasons worth a reported $2 million per year. Since then, the team has not talked about doing a long-term extension with Morris, and that is fine with the team’s third-year head coach.
Morris’ camp would prefer to wait until after the 2011 season. Their belief is if the upcoming season goes well, Morris and his infectious personality and ability to lead players would be able to command an upper echelon salary and long-term deal with only one-year remaining on his contract. Morris clearly has the support of the locker room, so with him heading into a lame-duck year in 2012 there would be internal pressure for the team to sign Morris to a lucrative multi-year deal.
During the first two years of Morris’ tenure as Bucs head coach he was one of the biggest bargains in the NFL working for under $1 million annually. Morris also serves as the team’s defensive coordinator and many teams in the NFL pay their coordinators more than what Morris was making to be the head coach and defensive coordinator. Even at $2 million per season, the Buccaneers are saving at least $1 million by Morris serving as the head coach and defensive coordinator.
With Morris still being at the bottom of the NFL in terms of the head coaches’ pay scale, his camp plans on incorporating the lost pay that they feel should have been paid in the last two years into the next contract. If the Bucs have another winning season in 2011, Morris could cash in with a rather sizable extension. Rather than trying to strike a good deal now, Morris’ camp would rather wait until after the season to take advantage of his rising stock and try to make it a great contract.
Morris took over as the Bucs head coach from Jon Gruden in January of 2009. After going 3-13 in his first season, Tampa Bay rebounded to go 10-6 in 2010, while also fielding the youngest team in the NFL.
Last year, Tampa Bay improved to 17th in the NFL defensively in Morris’ first full year running the defense. The Bucs finished 2010 with the league’s seventh-rated pass defense and the 28th ranked run defense.~ by Scott Reynolds and Charlie Campbell
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