It’s been a relatively quiet Thursday so far for the Buccaneers, but with a front office job open, there are plenty of rumors and news floating around to get you caught up on.
Let’s start with a slightly frustrating but mostly meaningless arrest for the Buccaneers, as eighth-choice running back Michael Hill was arrested.
— Rick Brown (@LedgeronBucs) January 9, 2014
Hill was the backup to Bobby Rainey and Brian Leonard at the end of the season, and was unlikely to have a big role with the team in the future. This should seal his fate as a free agent at the start of next season, or at least as a member of a team other than the Buccaneers.
But the real news from Thursday has been on the GM front, as the Buccaneers have been wheeling and dealing to find their new leader in the front office.
The bad news? The candidate they wanted all along is likely staying put in Kansas City.
The Chiefs have blocked Chris Ballard from interviewing for Bucs GM job, per Adam Caplan of ESPN
— Roy Cummings (@RCummingsTBO) January 9, 2014
Ballard’s name came up as soon as Lovie Smith’s name was mentioned as a head coaching candidate, as the two are friends dating back to Smith’s time in Chicago. But it appears that the Chiefs are being stubborn, and the Buccaneers likely don’t want to waste time battling in technicalities to get an interview with Ballard.
So who are the other candidates?
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) January 9, 2014
Lake Dawson is an intriguing candidate. The former NFL player has been a VP of Player Personnel with the Titans for two years, and prior to that he served in different front office and scouting roles with the Seahawks and Titans. His work in Seattle was part of a team that set the foundation for the Seahawks’ trip to the Super Bowl back in the mid-2000′s.
— Jason Cole (@JasonPhilCole) January 9, 2014
But as Jason Cole points out, it sounds like Lionel Vital is the leading man for the job. Vital, who we told you about in this article, has a similarly strong background and would seem to be the rising front office star that could turn into an excellent GM.
Morocco Brown is another intriguing candidate. He’s currently an executive with the Redskins, yet has ties to Lovie Smith as the two worked together in Chicago. He was on the verge of becoming the new GM of the Cardinals last offseason, but didn’t quite get the position.
Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times sums up the Bucs’ GM search quite well in this tweet:
Worth noting that Bucs seem to be looking exclusively at front-office guys who would be first-time GMs, as opposed to recently fired GMs.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) January 9, 2014
This makes it tough on the average fan (or media member), who don’t know much about the track record of these individual executives. All we can do is hope that the Glazers pick the right man who can grow into a successful general manager, rather than just pulling a fired GM off of the scrap heap and hoping for a better result.