On Wednesday, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reported Bowles hadn't reached an agreement with the Bucs and continues to evaluate his options despite a Tuesday report from The MMQB's Albert Breer stating he was heading to Tampa.
The Jets fired the 55-year-old New Jersey native in December after the team finished 4-12. New York posted a 24-40 record across his four years in charge and didn't earn any playoff appearances.
He previously served as defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 and 2014 under new Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians. He filled the same role for the Philadelphia Eagles on an interim basis in 2012.
Arians offered his thoughts on possibly reuniting with Bowles, per Jenna Laine of ESPN.com:
In addition to his time with Arians, Bowles also has a long-term relationship with Bears head coach Matt Nagy, whose father coached the former NFL safety in high school, per Biggs.
The former Redskin and 49er led the Cards to two straight seasons ranking seventh or better in scoring defense. The Jets defense ranked 22nd or worse in that category each of the past three years, though.
Bowles hasn't provided a timetable for his decision as the NFL coaching carousel continues to spin rapidly.