In spite of earlier reports, news came out of Cincinnati on January 2nd regarding the future coach of the Bengals.
Breaking: The Bengals have signed Marvin Lewis to a two-year contract, running through the 2019 season. pic.twitter.com/6njEM3PxGt
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 2, 2018
Marvin Lewis – projected to leave the Bengals after the 2017 season – was given a new contract with the team. The coach will be returning for his sixteenth year in Cincinnati in 2018 and is under contract through 2019. Despite both the team and Lewis having appeared ready to move on from each other weeks ago, they remained together.
Before the Bengals’ Week 15 game against the Vikings, there was a report that Lewis would be leaving the team after 2017 to explore other career options. Lewis was allegedly happy with and agreed to the arrangement (despite him denying the report after the game).
Then, however, the Bengals finished their season with two consecutive wins, seeming to rally around the departing coach. They defeated the Lions in Week 16 by a 26-17 score and the Ravens in Week 17 by 31-27. Both games resulted in the opposing team’s elimination from playoff contention, after the Bengals were already out of it. The Bengals from those two games looked nothing like the team from the preceding two, which lost to the Bears and Vikings by a combined 14-67.
While the players seem happy to have Lewis back, the fan reaction has been less than positive. Many have taken to social media to express their displeasure with the decision. Regardless, Lewis’ career in Cincinnati will least at least a year longer, more likely two. The longest-tenured coach in the NFL not named Bill Belichick will continue his reign.
The team will look to take the wins that likely inspired Lewis’ retention as momentum going into a critical offseason for the Bengals.