Bruce Arians is a step closer to returning to the sideline after a one-year sabbatical.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to offer their head coaching job to the 66-year-old Arians, per sources informed of the decision.
Rapoport added negotiations on a new contract are likely to being soon, and there is strong mutual interest from both sides.
After previously indicating he’d only be interested in returning to coaching for the Cleveland job, Arians let it be known that the Bucs’ post also intrigued him, given the relationship with general manager Jason Licht.
The future of quarterback Jameis Winston also likely played a role in the Bucs targeting Arians to replace Dirk Koetter. The signal-caller and Arians have a history and a good relationship. Entering the final year of his rookie deal, if Winston can’t improve in Arians’ vertical offense under a proven QB whisperer, it might never happen.
Arians “retired” from the Arizona Cardinals following the 2017 season. Health was among the reasons he stepped away, which will make the length and stipulations of a new deal in Tampa something to track as the sides hammer away in negotiations.
After just one year in a broadcast booth, Arians and his “no risk it, no biscuit” offense is on track to return to the NFL.