With the decision to part ways with general manager Mark Dominik on Monday, the Buccaneers will now look to replace their point man in salary cap planning, contract negotiations and talent acquisition.
Finding a suitable replacement for all that Dominik was responsible for may require more than one person, as the list of candidates qualified to handle the responsibilities isn’t very big. Some of the names being talked about are better at the financial end of the spectrum as it pertains to the salary cap, while others have more experience with scouting personnel and player evaluation.
The Bucs could hire one of the names listed below, or a combination of candidates to run Tampa Bay’s front office.
POTENTIAL GENERAL MANAGERSRICH MCKAYCurrently: President and CEO for the FalconsPros: McKay’s ties to the Tampa Bay area are well known, as he is the son of the Buccaneers first coach, John McKay. He later became the general manager for the Bucs that oversaw the most productive and successful time in the franchise’s history, culminating with the team’s only Super Bowl appearance and win in 2002. McKay helped draft Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp, future Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks and a number of other Pro Bowl players during his time in Tampa Bay. His familiarity with the Glazers and the organization, and his input on the NFL’s Competition Committee is thought to be a huge plus. If Lovie Smith is in fact the Buccaneers’ first choice as head coach, it could sway McKay to essentially come back home.
Cons: McKay has very few negatives, but the chances of landing McKay may come down to is if he wants to get back into the daily grind of the everyday duties of an NFL general manager and potentially interfere with his legacy in Tampa Bay.
SHELTON QUARLESCurrently: Director of pro scouting for the BuccaneersPros: Quarles, a former Bucs linebacker, has come along way in a few short years under the guidance of former Bucs general manager Mark Dominik. Quarles brings the experience of being an NFL player, and isn’t too far removed from his playing days to thoroughly understand the NFL game. Quarles has a keen eye for talent and is thought highly of by many inside the building at One Buccaneer Place.
Cons: Quarles’ time with the Buccaneers has been spent on the player personnel side, and the decision to offer a free agent millions of dollars of the Glazers money, is something he may not be ready for. Or at the very least, the Glazers many not feel he is ready to do handle that responsibility alone.
ERIC STOKESCurrently: Director of college scouting for the BuccaneersPros: Stokes is thought to be one of the bright, up-and-coming talent evaluators in the NFL. In his nearly two years in Tampa Bay after coming from Seattle, Stokes has been part of a front office that has drafted starters like in cornerback Johnthan Banks, quarterback Mike Glennon, nose tackle Akeem Spence and defensive end William Gholston. In Seattle, Stokes was part of a team that brought in impact players like defensive backs Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman. Stokes has an air of maturity and professionalism about him and has a specific plan already in place of the vision he would bring if hired as an NFL general manager.
Cons: Like Quarles, Stokes has primarily worked in college scouting, and may not have the experience the Glazers are looking for as far as budgeting money for free agency or negotiating contracts.
MARC ROSSCurrently: Vice president of player evaluation for the GiantsPros: Ross has worked his way up from a public relations intern to his current position with the Giants. In between, Ross has been credited with finding players like cornerback Terrell Thomas, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, offensive lineman Will Beatty and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul as a member of the Giants front office. Ross has interviewed for a handful of general manager openings in recent years, and many see Ross as on the cusp of being ready to take the next step.
Cons: Ross, like the previous two candidates, lacks the experience of the financial side of the job, having primarily been a part of college scouting through a majority of his career in the NFL.
KEVIN DEMOFFCurrently: Chief operating officer for the RamsPros: Demoff certainly fills the need of a general manger who can handle the financial responsibilities of the job, as he currently works with head coach Jeff Fisher and Rams G.M. Les Snead is planning the salary negotiations and player acquisitions. Demoff also handles the salary cap-planning end of things in St. Louis. In addition, Demoff also oversees the entire business side of things, including marketing, ticketing and community relations. Demoff also spent four seasons in Tampa Bay working closely with former general manager Bruce Allen.
Cons: Demoff doesn’t have the scouting and talent evaluation experience that some of the other candidates possess. While he could rely on a strong scouting department to handle those duties, the Glazers could be looking for a more well-rounded G.M. candidate.
OTHERS WHO MAY GARNER CONSIDERATIONJERRY ANGELOAngleo is another familiar face to Bucs fans – and the Glazers – after spending 14 years overseeing Tampa Bay’s scouting department as their Director of Player Personnel. Angelo, who resides in Tampa, bolted from the Buccaneers to become the general manager of the Chicago Bears where he hired Lovie Smith. Angelo was fired in Chicago in 2012 after compiling an 87-73 regular season record, and 3-4 playoff record as the Bears general manager.
JASON LICHTLicht, the current director of player personnel with Arizona is someone else who has flown under the radar to a degree, but is thought highly of by many around the league. Licht also spent three years as director of pro personnel with the New England Patriots. Licht was a finalist for the Bears G.M. job last season and many feel it is just a matter of time before he gets his shot in the league.
BRIAN GUTEKUNSTGutekunst currently serves as Green Bay director of college scouting having just wrapped up his 15th season with the Green Bay Packers’ player personnel department. He spent his first 13 seasons with the club as a college scout. The Packers have been one of the most productive teams in the NFL in terms of successful draft picks under G.M. Ted Thompson and Gutekunst.
OMAR KHANKhan is the director of business and football administration for the Steelers and is well respected around the league in terms of dealing with the salary cap and has also gotten more involved in the pro player side of things in the last few years. Khan has been with the Steelers since 2001 and was close friend of former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com
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