St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

Bucs want GM who can handle cap

Tim Ruskell interviews with Tampa Bay and Miami. Bucs hope to make hire by next week.

Published January 3, 2004

TAMPA - Jon Gruden wanted more control over personnel decisions and it's becoming apparent the chief role of the new general manager will be to manage the salary cap.

Tampa Bay has intensified its search for a GM in hopes of naming one by next week.

Vice presidents Joel and Bryan Glazer formally interviewed Bucs player personnel director Tim Ruskell in Palm Beach Friday morning, hours before he drove to Miami to meet for three hours with owner Wayne Huizenga about the Dolphins GM job.

While Ruskell has concentrated almost exclusively on personnel issues, most of the Bucs' other GM candidates have demonstrated savvy in salary-cap issues.

In fact, Gruden's new partner could look a lot like his old one. Raiders senior assistant Bruce Allen interviewed Tuesday.

The Bucs plan to interview Giants director of player personnel Jerry Reese and Jets assistant general manager Mike Tannenbaum.

Reese would be the first minority candidate to be interviewed. Tannenbaum would be interviewing for the second time. A protege of Bill Parcells, he was expected to become GM when he met with the Glazers in Tampa in January 2002. But Parcells decided not to coach the Bucs and Tannenbaum remained with the Jets.

Allen is considered an astute talent evaluator and a creative manipulator of the salary cap.

Like many front office employees of Raiders owner Al Davis, Allen does not have a contract. He has been an assistant and a head coach at the college level, a player agent and held various front office posts.

Allen is said to be anxious to leave the Raiders after nine seasons. He was NFL executive of the year in 2002.

Tannenbaum graduated cum laude from Tulane Law School. He worked for the Browns and the Saints as a salary-cap specialist before joining the Jets in '97.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.