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ESPN refutes notion Marvin Lewis will retire after 2016 season

Until the Bengals release news on Marvin Lewis’ future, assume he’s sticking around in Cincinnati through his contract, which currently ends after the 2017 season.

NFL: International Series-Fan Rally Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It sounds like Marvin Lewis will not be losing his job as Bengals head coach this offseason.

Following the recent claim from Chris Cooley of ESPN 980 that Marvin Lewis would retire following the Bengals’ Week 17 matchup with the Ravens, ESPN is reporting that Lewis will not retire and plans to remain the Bengals’ head coach in 2017.

Marvin Lewis intends to return to the Cincinnati Bengals in 2017, a source close to Lewis told ESPN's Ed Werder, disputing a report that the longtime coach will retire at the end of this season.

ESPN is the source to be believed in this situation. Though it wouldn’t be impossible for Bengals owner Mike Brown to change his mind on Lewis’ future in Cincinnati at a later point, for now, Lewis is going nowhere.

Lewis is under contract with the Bengals through the 2017 season after receiving a one yard extension for the third year in a row, back in April.

Lewis is 117-103-3 (.531) in 223 regular season games as the Bengals' head coach. He's coached in seven playoff games, which have all been losses. Those five straight (prior to this season) and seven total playoff losses, coupled with this year’s losing season are the main reasons why many Bengals fans would like to see Lewis fired.

But, the Brown family loves consistency and going to the playoffs in five of the last six seasons and six of the last eight years is certainly consistent. Ironically, the Bengals’ biggest downfall under Lewis is that the team consistently loses to the NFL’s best teams, which has been evident in the playoffs and in primetime. This season, the Bengals were 1-2 in primetime games, with their lone win coming against the Dolphins, who at the time were 1-2 and looked like a shell of their current playoff-bound team. In 2015, the Bengals’ only win in primetime was to the Browns and they had losses in primetime to the Texans, Cardinals, Broncos and the Steelers in the playoffs.

An inability to win when it matters most is perhaps Lewis’ most substantial flaw from his 14 year career with the Bengals. If he does in fact return to Cincinnati next season, let’s hope that’s an area he improves upon. He’ll need to for his team to find success.