The former Chicago Bears coach will replace the ousted Greg Schiano on a four-year deal, according to sources.
Speaking to The Associated Press on Wednesday night on the condition of anonymity because an official announcement hasn’t been made, the person also says former Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier will be the new defensive coordinator.
The Detroit Lions were also interested in Smith, but he preferred the Bucs job. He has previous ties to the organization having served as an assistant under Tony Dungy.
On Twitter, Dungy wrote: “Congratulations to the Bucs. I think they made a very good choice in hiring Lovie Smith. Now I’m excited about watching the Bucs next year!”
CHIEFS: Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was cleared to play in Saturday’s wild-card playoff game against Indianapolis after sustaining a concussion, though the status of linebacker Tamba Hali and right tackle Eric Fisher remains uncertain.
Fisher hurt his groin near the end of Tuesday’s practice, while Hali has been dealing with some swelling in his knee. Neither of them participated fully in Wednesday’s workout.
Bowe sustained his concussion in a loss to the Colts two weeks ago at Arrowhead Stadium.
EAGLES: Michael Vick expects to be starting at quarterback somewhere in the NFL next season but is willing to return to Philadelphia to back up Nick Foles if “all else fails.”
Vick, who will turn 34 next June, opened this season as the Eagles’ starter but injured his hamstring against the Giants on Oct. 6 and eventually lost the spot to Foles.
“At some point I’ll be back out there,” Vick said, according to CSNPhilly.com.
PANTHERS: Coach Ron Rivera says defensive coordinator Sean McDermott will interview for Washington’s head coaching position this week after Mike Shanahan was fired.
Rivera says the Redskins called Tuesday to ask permission to speak with McDermott.
DOLPHINS: In the wake of Miami’s late-season collapse, owner Stephen Ross immediately began contemplating a possible organizational shake-up.
Ross has been meeting with his top advisers before deciding whether to fire anyone, two people familiar with the situation said.