With reports that Jim Harbaugh is close to accepting the head coaching position at the University of Michigan, the Raiders look like they will miss out on their top candidate. Let’s look at what Oakland might choose to do as it shifts it focus from Harbaugh…
- Owner Mark Davis tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) that GM Reggie McKenzie will assist in head coaching interviews, which will begin on Monday. This seems to be a clear indication that McKenzie’s job is safe, something that FOX Sports’ Mike Garafolo agrees with (on Twitter).
- Another reason that McKenzie could be in the clear: he has two years remaining on his original five-year contract, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Oakland would be forced to pay the remainder of his salary in the event it fired him.
- Financial obligation isn’t the only thing working in McKenzie’s favor, tweets Joel Corry of CBS Sports. Per Corry, McKenzie expertly maneuvered the Raiders’ deconstruction, leaving the Raiders with the second-most 2015 cap space, and hit on his 2014 draft picks, though he could afford to find better values in free agency.
- On the coaching front, interim HC Tony Sparano wants to return, according to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter), and Garfolo tweets the “drumbeat…is strong” for Sparano within the Raiders organization.
- Sparano will be granted the opportunity to interview for the full-time job, per Rapoport (Twitter link).