Lionel Vital has consistently been named as the frontrunner in the general manager search for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ever since Chris Ballard bowed out of the competition to stay in Kansas City. Jason La Canfora now reiterates that Vital is still the frontrunner, with Jason Licht, Marc Ross and Lake Dawson also in the mix.
Vital is the most experienced of the candidates, he made a strong impression on Bucs coach Lovie Smith and he already has a wealth of knowledge about Tampa Bay's division -- the NFC South.
The Bucs held a second round of interviews this week, which included second interviews for at least Dawson and Vital. It's not entirely clear how many interviews Marc Ross and Jason Licht have gone through, with Licht's name only surfacing this week.
Vital's experience would be a major selling point, as would his working for consistent, winning organizations in the Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. However, it's nigh-impossible to properly evaluate front office executives from the outside, as it's very difficult to know which executive was responsible for which personnel moves.