Cowher still actively weighing coaching options

The Buccaneers issued, in essence, a vote of confidence in Raheem Morris late Monday night, with a statement from owner Joel Glazer expressing “confidence” in the first-year coach’s path.

However, as we have been reporting, the Bucs reached out to Bill Cowher late in the season and have made an effort to secure his services.

Tampa Bay, however, has been unwilling to pay above the $5 million-to-$6 million range for Cowher, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. There also are concerns about how much the team would be able to spend on players. That has blocked a deal to this point; should some of those parameters change, things could get interesting.

Cowher also has received contact from the Bills — one report from Western New York says the coach will meet with team officials today — but some close to him would be surprised if he went there. However, Cowher to the Bills shouldn’t be ruled out if team owner Ralph Wilson makes an offer in the upper-echelon of coaching contracts.

Tampa Bay, Chicago, Houston and Carolina were the four teams Cowher was targeting should there be openings, but none of those jobs are vacant and most likely will not be. While there is some uncertainty about the labor situation in 2011, the market could end up being more conducive to Cowher’s desires, with Chicago and Houston again with coaches entering the season under scrutiny, for instance.

Regardless, recent reports that Cowher had cooled his interest in coaching in 2010 are untrue, as he has been actively working on assembling a staff, weighing all options and receiving calls from teams.

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