Source: Bucs, Cardinals swap picks as part of Bruce Arians deal

Stephen A.: Arians is not a 'slam dunk' for Tampa Bay (1:48)

Stephen A. Smith questions the Buccaneers' decision to hire Bruce Arians as their head coach after he said he wanted to coach the Browns. (1:48)

TAMPA, Fla. -- Bruce Arians is ending his retirement to become the next head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team announced Tuesday night.

The deal is for four years with a one-year option.

Arians, who retired after the 2017 season, his fifth as Arizona Cardinals coach, spent the 2018 season working as a game analyst for CBS.

"Bruce Arians is one of the NFL's most well-respected coaches over the past two decades, and we are excited to have him leading our team," Buccaneers owner Bryan Glazer said in a statement. "Throughout this process, we focused on finding the right coach with a proven ability to elevate our players and lead our team forward. Bruce has played a large role in the development and career success of some of our league's best players, and we look forward to seeing him continue that work here with our franchise."

Arians, 66, expressed his excitement about joining the franchise in a tweet following the announcement.

He was technically under contract with the Cardinals through the 2019 season. The league office's original guidance to the Buccaneers was that no compensation was needed, but the Cardinals made a late argument that they should continue to hold Arians' rights.

Rather than be drawn into a protracted dispute, the parties agreed to swap sixth- and seventh-round picks to resolve the matter, clearing the way for the Bucs to hire Arians. Tampa Bay receives Arians' rights and Arizona's 2019 seventh-round pick in return for the Buccaneers' 2019 sixth-round pick, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Former Jets coach Todd Bowles, who was fired last month after three straight losing seasons in New York, had been expected to join Arians in Tampa Bay as defensive coordinator, sources told ESPN's Dianna Russini. But Bowles is now also being considered to replace Vic Fangio as the Chicago Bears' defensive coordinator, league sources confirmed to ESPN. Fangio has reached an agreement to become the Denver Broncos' coach.

No deal between Bowles and the Buccaneers has yet been signed, sources said.

Bowles has ties to both the Tampa Bay and Chicago staffs. Bears coach Matt Nagy's father coached Bowles in high school. Bowles played for Arians at Temple in the mid-1980s and the two have remained close.

Bowles served as Arians' defensive coordinator for the Cardinals from 2013 to 2014, a job that was a springboard to the Jets' head-coaching position.

"He's like a son to me," Arians said of Bowles on "The Rich Eisen Show" on Wednesday. "I was more talking to him about his future. We all get fired. I've been fired so many times I can't count 'em all. Then it led to this. He thought hard about it. I was doing my best sell job and this happened."

Bucs defensive line coach Brentson Buckner, who also was on Arians' staff in Arizona, joined Tampa Bay last offseason. Buckner is under contract through 2019.

Byron Leftwich is joining the Bucs as offensive coordinator, with Arians saying Wednesday that Leftwich would handle the offensive playcalling. Harold Goodwin was announced as Tampa Bay's assistant head coach/run-game coordinator on Wednesday as well.

Arians will reunite with Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht, who served as the Cardinals' vice president of player personnel in 2013, and quarterback Jameis Winston, who attended Arians' football camps in Birmingham, Alabama.

"Jaboo was a Birmingham legend," Arians said prior to the Cardinals facing Winston and the Bucs in 2016. "He would be fun to coach, there's no doubt about it. He's a winner and a great leader and obviously a heckuva young quarterback."

Arians played a role in shaping Licht's philosophies as a GM. When Licht traded up to select kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round of the 2016 draft -- a move that drew leaguewide criticism -- Licht quoted Arians' famous "no risk it, no biscuit" line after the draft decision. Aguayo struggled and was cut the following season.

The Bucs are counting on Arians to orchestrate a quick turnaround, much like he did in Arizona. The Bucs haven't reached the playoffs since 2007 -- the NFL's second-longest postseason drought -- and have finished with double-digit losses in seven of the past 10 seasons. Tampa Bay fired coach Dirk Koetter on Dec. 30 following consecutive 5-11 seasons.

Arians served as the Cardinals' head coach from 2013 through 2017, amassing a 50-32-1 record (playoffs included), the best in Cardinals franchise history, despite inheriting a team that went 5-11 under predecessor Ken Whisenhunt the season before Arians arrived.

He was twice named the Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year (2012, 2014), becoming the 11th coach to earn the award two times and the first interim coach to win the award. In 2012, he stepped in for Chuck Pagano and guided the Indianapolis Colts to an 11-5 record (Arians went 9-3) and a playoff berth.

In his first season with Arizona in 2013, Arians led the Cardinals to a 10-6 record, just the second time in the franchise's 37 years that it had won 10 or more games. Arians' Cardinals teams had double-digit wins in three of five seasons, and he is 1-2 in the postseason.

The Bucs also interviewed Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards and Dallas Cowboys defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator Kris Richard, but Arians was long considered the front-runner.

ESPN's Rich Cimini contributed to this report.