Mike Tannenbaum is the assistant GM and salary-cap specialist with the New York Jets.
By RICK STROUD, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 17, 2002
TAMPA -- If you still don't know the identity of the new Bucs coach, check the handprints on their latest move.
The Bucs will make Jets assistant general manager Mike Tannenbaum, a protege of Bill Parcells, their new GM as early as today.
Tannenbaum, 32, flew from New York to Tampa on Wednesday morning to interview with Bucs vice presidents Joel and Bryan Glazer. He did not return calls left at his Tampa hotel.
Tannenbaum's hiring would precede that of Parcells, who is expected to be on board formally as Bucs coach early next week.
Considered a top salary cap strategist, Tannenbaum also would help Parcells preside over player personnel decisions.
While Parcells works to assemble his coaching staff, Tannenbaum will be in place to begin as sort of an advance scout, examining salary cap information and helping to prepare the Bucs list for the expansion draft.
The Glazers were granted permission by the Jets on Tuesday to talk to Tannenbaum just hours after claiming to have begun the process to replace coach Tony Dungy. They would only confirm the visit Wednesday.
"Mike Tannenbaum was interviewed today to discuss a possible role within the organization," said Reggie Roberts, the Bucs director of public relations.
Tannenbaum's hiring could lead to the departure of current general manager Rich McKay.
Although McKay has been offered a contract extension to remain with the team in an expanded front office role such as team president, he has expressed a desire to continue his work in presiding over drafts and personnel decisions as a general manager.
McKay already is believed to be weighing opportunities with the Redskins and Falcons to become GM.
With the Redskins, he would work with former Gators coach Steve Spurrier and could be reunited with Tim Ruskell, the Bucs director of player personnel who will interview for the same position in Washington. The Falcons are believed to be looking to hire a GM to assist coach Dan Reeves, who currently performs both duties.
On Tuesday, after firing Dungy, the Glazers were nearly adament that McKay would remain with the Bucs.
"We're going to work with Rich McKay, as we did with (hiring) Tony, in making that decision," Joel Glazer said. "Rich came to us with recommendations and we'd expect that would be the same thing this time. We will sit there and work very closely with him again. He's going to be involved in this process."
When asked if McKay would continue as the main procurer of players, Joel Glazer responded, "yes."
But that seems unlikely now that Tannenbaum, who graduated cum laude from Tulane Law School, will be in place.
Tannenbaum worked for the Browns and the Saints as a salary cap specialist before joining the Jets in 1997 for Parcells in the same capacity.
Jets general manager Terry Bradway promoted Tannenbaum to assistant general manager and pro personnel director last spring.
The departure of Tannenbaum could hurt the Jets, who have a $17-million salary cap deficit to reduce.
DUNGY UPDATE: Former Bucs coach Tony Dungy will spend the rest of the week with his family before interviewing for head coaching jobs with the Colts and Panthers, agent Ray Anderson said Wednesday.
"He just needs time to reflect and enjoy his family," Anderson said. "But if he gets an opportunity to coach again, there's no doubt in my mind he would probably take it and enjoy it."