The Bill Cowher rumors are starting again, but this time there may be more than just smoke and mirrors behind reports that the legendary coach is returning to the NFL sidelines.
Each year, new rumors indicate that Cowher is a target of the teams with coaching vacancies, and this year the team being mentioned is a bit of a surprise. The Buffalo Bills didn't appear to have any coaching issues as the season came to a close. Second-year coach Doug Marrone led the team to its first winning record in a decade, and seemed to have cemented his place with the team.
But Marrone announced on Wednesday that he was using the opt-out clause that came into effect when the team's ownership changed hands. Reports indicated that new owner Terry Pegula wouldn't give Marrone the contract extension he wanted, so the coach decided to opt out and try his luck elsewhere.
Enter Bill Cowher -- literally. Just hours after the Bills announced Marrone was leaving, reports indicated that Cowher was spotted in Buffalo.
For the rumor monger types, Bill Cowher IS in Buffalo tonight
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) January 1, 2015
The nature of his visit wasn't known, but it's likely that Bill Cowher could be a target for the team. Pegula, who also owns the Buffalo Sabres, has said that money isn't an object in rebuilding the Buffalo teams, and is reportedly looking to bring respectability back to the franchise.
It may be something of a surprise to see Bill Cowher rumors attached to the Buffalo Bills when the former Steelers coach already passed over other, more high-profile jobs in the past few years. But sources say Cowher is willing to return if the right opportunity presents itself, and if Pegula is willing to open up the checkbook, then that could put Buffalo at the top of the list.
Bill Cowher (@CowherCBS) says there's "nothing to" the rumor he'll return to coaching, but the "door is never closed."
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 3, 2014
Bill Cowher is not the only NFL legend rumored to be coming to Buffalo. Sources say former Bills and Colts general manager Bill Polian will also be returning to the team later this month as a team president/football czar.