Dirk Koetter might return to coach Buccaneers in 2019

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With the Buccaneers once again relegated to the sidelines of the NFC playoff chase, it appears Dirk Koetter's tenure in Tampa is in serious jeopardy this offseason.

However, sources told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport that the Buccaneers haven't dismissed the idea of bringing back their head coach for a fourth season.

"Everyone assumes that (coach) Dirk Koetter is on his way out. My understanding is do not necessarily make that assumption," Rapoport said on "Good Morning Football Weekend" on Sunday. "They have not ruled out keeping Koetter, and, basically, their entire upper structure, including Jameis Winston, for the 2019 season. I'm not saying Koetter is staying, just don't assume that he's gone.

There have been some positives for the Buccaneers amid a 5-9 season that has kept them out of playoff contention for the 11th straight year. Tampa Bay's third-ranked offense (416.6 yards per game) is the best in franchise history and the team has seen improvement on defense since dismissing defensive coordinator Mike Smith.

That might not be enough to save Koetter's job, but strong performances to close out the season against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and the Atlanta Falcons next week could go a long way in potentially keeping him around for another year.

Still, the Bucs' 19-27 record over the last three seasons coupled with Winston's inconsistent development since being selected No. 1 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft means nothing is certain about Koetter's future with Tampa Bay.

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