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Chiefs' Chris Ballard declines Buccaneers' general manager job

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to look at Morocco Brown, Lionel Vital and Marc Ross as possible general managers. The Chiefs blocked Chris Ballard from taking the job.

USA TODAY Sports

Update: Adam Caplan is now saying Ballard chose to say with the Chiefs, rather than being blocked by the Chiefs. He may not want to tie his future to a position where he would not have final say.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won't have their first choice be their general manager. Kansas City Chiefs director of player personnel was denied the opportunity to take the Bucs' GM position, according to Adam Caplan. Because Lovie Smith has final say over personnel, the general manager position would not count as a promotion for Ballard, which allows the Chiefs to force him to stay in-house.

Ballard was considered the front-runner for the position and has a long history of working with Lovie Smith going all the way back to his days as a player in college. Ballard worked in the Bears' front office as a scout and director of pro personnel for Lovie's entire tenure there.

With Ballard out of the picture, the Buccaneers will interview Morocco Brown, Lionel Vital and Marc Ross to replace Mark Dominik. Brown is an executive with the Redskins, while Vital is currently with the Falcons and Ross with the Giants. Either one of the three would be a strong general manager candidate -- although they, too, could presumably be blocked from taking the job if offered.