This Week's Hot Gossip: Urban Meyer to the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers Next Year

Larry BurtonSenior Writer IJanuary 21, 2009

Recently Urban Meyer said Notre Dame was his "dream job," and he went on to elaborate that he's still at Florida because he doesn't have to travel that far to recruit. Time at home means a lot to him right now with his kids at the age they are.

So might dollars. 

Should the Glazers, owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, offer Meyer, say, a ton of cash to go along with no recruiting trips and more time at home, don't you think that might get his attention?

After all, with two NCAA Championships and perhaps a third this coming year, what else has he to prove at this level? And $8 million a year could hasten his retirement up quite a bit to spend time with the grandkids, when he has them.

This way, he could "finish" his career with his beloved Tim Tebow and Brandon Spikes, who stayed to try and win another championship.  This way, Urban would leave with more dignity.

So if Raheem Morris doesn't work out this year, the Glazers could talk to Meyer from Dec. 1, 2009, to the end of the bowl game about a job.  It's not like they're going to give Morris a long leash here.

This is not far-fetched at all. Major writers have begun to think like me, and I noticed tonight that CBS Sportsline writer Pete Prisco said the following:

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"The timing of the Gruden firing leads me to believe the Bucs are up to something big. I doubt they would fire a coach at this stage of the game without having a plan. With general manager Bruce Allen also getting fired, it leads me to believe they are targeting a big-name coach they will pay a ton of money to have personnel control... Maybe Urban Meyer?

"If I were Meyer and the Bucs came to me an offered me $8 million a season and total control, how could I turn that down? What’s left to challenge me on the college level? Of course, I’d have to change my offensive system.

"I’m telling you. There’s something at work in Tampa. Something big."

It wouldn't be the first Florida coach to be lured away by the NFL after a championship. Steve Spurrier, however, went bust in Washington, and without some real QB talent in Tampa, perhaps Urban figures he could flounder as well.

One thing about it, though. Offering him a five-year deal for, say, $35-40 million may just be too much for one man to turn down. 

No deal would be done until after National Signing Day, however, even if such a move is made.  Either way, this speculation alone could cause Florida to scurry and offer up a new and better contract. This is one time Jimmy Sexton's fingerprints won't be involved in such a story.

Urban's contract also has some strange language in it that is similar to what Florida did to Spurrier, in that it limits his "negotiation time" with other employers to a very tight schedule. But I'm sure a good lawyer can work that out.

Time generally answers all questions, but let's see how this plays out. The rumor mill is already started to turn, and it will only get hotter.  Raheem Morris sure hopes not.

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