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While Raiders owner Mark Davis finally came out last week and said head coach Dennis Allen will be back, there is still substantial work to be done securing their staff, with many assistant coach contracts expiring Feb. 1.
One contract that is not expiring, is offensive line coach Tony Sparano, who signed a two-year extension last week, but even that is causing ripples. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson, for instance, signed a two-year deal last year, so now his offensive line coach has more term left on his deal than Olson does, which is an unusual dynamic in and of itself. Given that Allen is a defensive-minded head coach, and Olsen is in essence the coach of the offense, with help from Al Saunders as a senior offensive consultant, league sources believe Davis will still have work to do to procure his staff.
The coaches whose deal are expiring have been offered one-year extensions, but most have not signed them yet and they could become in essence coaching free agents in a matter of weeks. Davis has considered firing Allen each of the last two seasons, and, according to sources, made overtures toward Jon Gruden, but ultimately decided to retain him.