We've spoken at length recently that the Cincinnati Bengals could be without a head coach soon, with Marvin Lewis' contract expiring after this season. Check that. After this weekend's season finale against the Baltimore Ravens.
Will Mike Brown capitulate to Lewis' demands, most notably an indoor practice facility and more generally speaking, additional projects and ideas that would modernize the team? Or will Lewis find that he won't be able to progress under this organization and move on? The most telling in all of this is that Lewis is entering the offseason without a contract, which is rare for a head coach and his team if a future is desired by both sides.
Then again, we wrote last week that there's still a pretty good chance that Lewis returns, based on our own speculation. When asked before Cincinnati's upset win over the San Diego Chargers if that would be Lewis' final game at Paul Brown Stadium, Lewis simply said, "I don’t think so. That's not the plan."
Marvin Lewis spoke with FanHouse's Thomas George, saying that plan's immediate future could be determined as soon as next week.
"I think we'll know something there by Monday or Tuesday," Lewis said. "We (he and Bengals owner Mike Brown) talk every day about the future. About the football team, the players and the personnel. We've got to decide how it is going to be. His vision of the football team and mine. There are certain things he wants to emphasize with me. Things that are important to him. I expect to hear those."
Lewis also said that Bengals owner Mike Brown and he will hold a discussion on how to move forward for the future, which could make make Lewis the most critical person in helping shape change for the future of this franchise.
"I probably would be surprised," Lewis said of the notion that Brown might simply, abruptly tell him he was fired. "We planned to talk more about the future after the season was over and that's what's next. I think we all know when you get in this business, there is going to be an end at some point and time. It doesn't have to be negative. You never look back or sideways, you go forward. You learn. You are always talking to the players about preparing for the future, for their last play. It is the same for coaches."
Putting aside your own opinions for a moment and knowing what you know now, do you think Marvin Lewis stays or leaves?