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Sunday, February 10
Updated: February 11, 8:58 PM ET
News crews wait in vain outside Bucs' offices

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- Television crews set up across the street from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' headquarters, waiting into the night for an announcement that never came.

There was no official word Monday on general manager Rich McKay's future with the team.

McKay is contemplating leaving the Bucs in the wake of ownership's decision to veto his plan to hire former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis as Tampa Bay's next coach.

The sons of owner Malcolm Glazer have not spoken with the general manager since shooting down Lewis' candidacy last Friday, a day after McKay told Lewis he was the choice to replace Tony Dungy, who was fired on Jan. 14.

It was the second time in a month that the Glazers had not followed a major recommendation by McKay, who spent the past seven years changing the perception of Tampa Bay as a poorly run organization.

McKay, who has a year remaining on a contract that will pay him about $1.8 million in 2002, is expected to meet with Bryan and Joel Glazer on Tuesday or Wednesday to discuss -- among other things -- whether he'll remain with the team.

The Atlanta Falcons are said to be interested in making McKay their GM, but would have to have the Glazers' permission to talk to him as long as McKay remains under contract to Tampa Bay.

Lewis emerged as the likely successor to Dungy after Bill Parcells rejected an offer to come out of retirement and McKay -- at the Glazers' direction -- made an unsuccessful run at Oakland's Jon Gruden, who has a year remaining on his contract.

McKay was so confident that the hiring of Lewis would be approved that he had begun to help Lewis assemble a coaching staff. But the Glazers met the candidate face-to-face for the first time last Thursday night, then pulled the plug on the plan the following morning.

Last month, the owners also ignored McKay's recommendation to retain Dungy, who led Tampa Bay to the playoffs four of the past five seasons.

And, the Glazers tried to get the general manager to accept a position as team president when it looked like Parcells might be headed for Tampa Bay.

McKay balked, saying he wanted to wait until Parcells was in place to learn more about what role he might play in a regime that would have included Mike Tannenbaum as Parcells' hand-picked general manager.

The same day Parcells told Glazers he would not be coming to Tampa Bay, Tannenbaum said he had decided to remain in his job as assistant general manager of the New York Jets.

McKay interviewed Lewis, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and former Washington coach Norv Turner before looking into the prospect of hiring Gruden.

When the Raiders asked for more than Tampa Bay was willing give to free Gruden from his contract, McKay turned to Lewis, who over the weekend became the NFL's highest-paid assistant with the Redskins.

It's unclear where Tampa Bay's coaching search goes from here -- or whether McKay will lead it if he stays with the team. Director of Communications Reggie Roberts said there is no timetable for hiring Dungy's successor.

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