Sparano signs two-year deal to remain with Raiders

Sparano signs two-year deal to remain with Raiders
January 10, 2014, 4:30 pm
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Tony Sparano signed a two-year contract to remain the Raiders assistant head coach/offensive line coach. (USATSI)

The Raiders announced that offensive line coach Tony Sparano signed a two-year contract on Friday afternoon to remain with the club.

That's a major coup and a positive sign that the Raiders didn't hold a stubborn line on one-year contracts for assistant coaches in 2014. Owner Mark Davis preferred one-year contracts to standard two-year deals for coaches with expiring contracts, but he turned out to be more flexible than most expected.

He extended a deal for Sparano, a former head coach and coordinator who balked at the idea of returning on a one-year contract. He was linked with a possible move to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but that deal was never done.

Sparano did an excellent job with an injury-plagued offensive line last season, his first with the Raiders. His leadership could help a healthier, reinforced line turn into a team strength.

The status of other assistant coaches -- save offensive coordinator Greg Olson and linebackers coach Bob Sanders, who signed two-year deals last season -- remains uncertain.

A league source indicated that several position coaches signed one-year contracts on Tuesday, although an exact numbers and identities are not known.

The Raiders hope to retain defensive coordinator Jason Tarver and special teams coordinator Bobby April, although the one-year deal edict was thought to be a stumbling block. The possibility of a two-year deal could ensure both return next season.