Marvin Lewis will be back for a 16th season with the Cincinnati Bengals. And 17th if he finishes the two-year contract extension he signed Tuesday afternoon.
The winningest coach in franchise history, Lewis is 125-112-3 in the regular season and 0-7 in the postseason.
He coached the 2017 season on the final year of his contract for the first time since 2010. Lewis met with Brown on Monday and again all day Tuesday before the extension was announced.
“Marvin Lewis has been an important member of the Cincinnati community and the Bengals family for the past 15 years, and we are happy to have reached this agreement,” Bengals owner and president Mike Brown said in a press release. “Marvin has made significant contributions during his time here. While recently we have fallen short of our expectations, we have full confidence in Marvin to re-establish winning football in 2018.”
The extension contradicts a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter three weeks ago that said Lewis intended to step away from the team at the end of the season.
“My family and I are very grateful for the opportunity to stay in Cincinnati and continue my career with the Bengals,” Lewis said in the press release. “My job is to win a world championship. We have a talented roster full of veteran leaders and emerging young stars, and I am committed to making the necessary improvements to put this team in the best position to win.”
No decision was announced on the coaching staff. All of Lewis’ assistants also are free agents, and Bengals.com writer Geoff Hobson reported that staff changes are expected.
Lewis is scheduled to meet with the media Wednesday to talk about his new contract and possible changes.
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Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton said Monday the key to a Lewis return would be about stability rather than changes.
“Marvin’s been great,” Dalton said. “He’s just been a sense of stability. He’s a guy that’s been steady throughout the ups and downs of the season. He’s brought a lot of experience. He’s obviously done it for a long time. To be one place 15 years is a true testament to him. He’s made a big impact on a lot of guys and I’m very thankful for everything Marvin’s done.”