The Raiders took some time confirming Dennis Allen’s return as head coach in 2014 and they’ve taken some time figuring out whether to hold onto members of his staff with expiring contracts, but one key assistant will be back next year.
Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver’s contract was set to expire on Tuesday, but the team announced that they have re-signed Tarver before he pursued any other opportunities. Tarver was named defensive coordinator in 2012, Allen’s first year in the job, and has overseen a defense that has finished 18th and 22nd in yards allowed over his two years on the job.
The return of Tarver, along with Allen, suggests the Raiders think the current staff has earned another year to work with a roster limited by fewer financial and talent constraints held over from the previous regime. Offensive line coach/assistant head coach Tony Sparano has signed a two-year deal to return, John Middlekauf of 95.7 The Game reported late Monday that special teams coach Bobby April will also return and Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com reports wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore and tight ends coach Mark Hutson are expected back as well.
On the other hand, the Raiders may just appreciate having a coach on staff who is willing to flip the bird when he thinks the officials make a bad call.
UPDATE 7:33 p.m. ET: Per a league source, special-teams coordinator Bobby April has not re-signed with the Raiders.