|Thursday, February 21
McKay will remain Bucs' GM with six-year deal
TAMPA, Fla. -- Embattled Tampa Bay general manager Rich McKay decided to remain with the team Thursday, mending his fractured relationship with Buccaneers ownership and accepting a six-year contract.
McKay, the Bucs' GM for the past seven seasons, had been contemplating leaving the club since the sons of owner Malcolm Glazer vetoed his plan to hire former Baltimore assistant Marvin Lewis as the team's new coach two weeks ago.
Although the GM led the team's initial effort to lure Jon Gruden away from the Oakland Raiders, the Glazers finished the deal and hired Gruden this week without input from McKay.
McKay, who had a year left on his contract, interviewed for the Atlanta Falcons' vacant GM job last week.
"We are extremely excited about the unlimited possibilities that exist for the future of this franchise with Rich McKay as our general manager and Jon Gruden as our head coach," Bucs executive vice president Bryan Glazer said in a statement.
"Certainly when you speak of the brightest young coaches, you think of Jon Gruden. You think of Rich McKay when discussing the brightest and best football executive in the National Football League."
McKay has worked for the Bucs since 1992, but his ties to the franchise date back to his childhood days. His father, John, was the first coach of the expansion Buccaneers.
"A lot of things transpired. A lot of things were written about, and I was portrayed in many different ways. But I'm here today and I couldn't be happier," McKay said.
"This is a franchise I've invested a majority of my life in. I saw us go from orange uniforms to pewter uniforms. I saw where we came from as a football team. We have a little ways to go, and I'd like to be a part of that."
During McKay's tenure as GM, the Bucs have compiled a 61-51 regular season record. The team made the playoffs four of the past five seasons under coach Tony Dungy, who was fired last month.