BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – Marv Levy is preparing to step down as Buffalo Bills general manager, according to numerous reports Sunday.

Citing “multiple” unnamed sources, Buffalo’s WIVB-TV reported the Bills and the 82-year-old Levy reached “a mutual decision” that he would retire after concluding his second year on the job.

The station reported an announcement could come as early as this week.

ESPN.com also cited sources in reporting the decision was reached after the Hall of Fame coach met this week with Bills owner Ralph Wilson.

The news came as the Bills (7-9) closed their season with a 17-9 loss at Philadelphia. Buffalo, knocked out of postseason contention two weeks ago, missed the playoffs for an eighth straight year to establish the longest drought in franchise history.

Levy was not immediately available for comment.

A person with the Bills told The Associated Press on Sunday evening there had been discussion about Levy stepping down, but not until after the NFL draft in April.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because Levy and the team had not announced a decision.

The Bills, following the game, issued a news release announcing when players would be available to the media on Monday. The release also said both Levy and coach Dick Jauron would be made available to reporters at a later date.

Levy took over as a first-time general manager in 2005, when the Bills lured him out of retirement following a front-office shakeup that included the firing of president Tom Donahoe.

Levy previously enjoyed his greatest success in Buffalo as the team’s coach before he retired following the 1997 season. In 11-plus seasons, Levy had a 112-70 record to become the franchise’s winningest coach, and he led the Bills to an unmatched four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the 1990s.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

Upon taking over as GM, Levy’s first task was hiring Jauron to replace Mike Mularkey, who abruptly resigned a week after Donahoe was fired.

Levy’s role as GM was relatively undefined, although he provided input on the team’s draft and personnel decisions, consulted with Jauron and also stayed in close contact with Wilson, who lives in suburban Detroit.

Levy, however, stayed out of contract talks, leaving that job to team vice president Jim Overdorf.

AP-ES-12-30-07 1919EST

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