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Tampa Bay Buccaneers hire Bruce Arians as head coach

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians watches during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians came out of retirement to take a head coaching position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Buccaneers announced Tuesday.

Arians, who spent the 2018 season as an in-game analyst for CBS Sports, ended his coaching career following the 2017 season. He said previously that he would only come out of retirement if he were given a chance to coach the Cleveland Browns, but in the most recent iteration of the NFL coaching hiring cycle, his interest in the Tampa Bay job became known.

“Cleveland is the only job I would consider,” Arians told the Canton Repository in November.

Arians will take a four-year deal with a team option for a fifth year, per the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Rapoport notes several former Cardinals coaches as targets for Arians’ staff.

On Dec. 31, Rapoport said that Arians sent him a text message confirming his interest to coach the Buccaneers. “I know Jason (Licht). So, I would listen,” the text reportedly read. Jason Licht is the general manager of the Bucs and worked in the Cardinals front office while Arians coached in Arizona.

Arians, 66, has been an NFL head coach just once (not including his 12 games as interim head coach of the Colts), but has decades of experience coaching both at the professional and college levels. He was the offensive coordinator of the 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers team that beat the Cardinals in the Super Bowl and coached quarterbacks that include Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer.

In five seasons leading the Cardinals, Arians went 40-27-1 and took Arizona to the playoffs twice, including an appearance in the NFC Championship game. Arians’ replacement Steve Wilks went 3-13 in his first and only season before being fired. Former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury was hired as Arizona’s next head coach on Tuesday.

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