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Marvin Lewis among list of NFL head coaches on hottest seats

Will 2016 be the final year of Marvin Lewis’ tenure with the Bengals? Probably not, but ESPN thinks he should at the very least be on the hot seat sitting at 3-7-1 this season.

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

It remains to be seen if Marvin Lewis is on any real hot seat, but in the public eye, he definitely should be.

Lewis, now in his 14th season, is enduring one of his worst seasons as Bengals head coach. At 3-7-1, Cincinnati is on pace to finish with less than seven wins for just the third time in Lewis’ tenure.

But combined with an 0-7 mark in the playoffs, Lewis should lose his job if the Bengals keep up with their current pace, which will have them winning five games or less.

ESPN’s list of head coaches on the hot seat has Lewis in the ‘warming up’ section, and they had a long write-up on why it may be time for Lewis to go, but also why we should expect him to be back in 2017.

The Bengals are almost certain to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2010. So what has happened to this team?

From talking to a team source, the roster, especially on the defensive side of the ball, has gotten really old and needs an infusion of younger and more athletic players. While the team feels good about its deep and talented secondary, more talent needs to be added to the front seven, the source added. And on offense, the Bengals have yet to adequately replace former starting receiver Marvin Jones, who signed with the Lions in free agency.

So, what about the future of Lewis, whose contract expires after 2017?

Lewis has a larger say in the roster than he did when he landed the job in 2003, but owner Mike Brown still picks the players. And it's no secret in league circles that Brown does not like paying coaches who are not working with the Bengals. While Lewis, who is 115-101-3 in 14 years as Cincinnati's coach, has done a terrific job of turning around the team since he took over, he still has not won a playoff game. That is why he'll remain on the hot seat -- at least until Brown goes on the record and says the veteran coach will be back for another season.

I do think the ‘Brown won’t pay a coach who’s not coaching’ argument is overrated. I think the reason why Brown won’t fire Lewis is because of the massive failures of the franchise pre-Lewis.

Then again, it’s pretty easy to upgrade from the awfulness that was the 90s and early 2000s. Will 2017 be the year Brown finally looks to upgrade from average?