The Raiders reportedly took a shot at hiring Jim Harbaugh, but the former 49ers coach and Raiders assistant will be heading back to Ann Arbor for a hoped resurrection of the faltering football program at the University of Michigan.
That leaves the Raiders looking for a permanent successor to Dennis Allen, who was fired as the team’s head coach after the first four games of the 2014 season. Tony Sparano took over on an interim basis, leading the Raiders to a 3-9 record and earning support for an extended stay on the sideline from players like Charles Woodson and Derek Carr.
Whether because of those recommendations or other reasons, Jeff Darlington of NFL Media reports that Sparano heads into the offseason “squarely in the mix” to hold onto the job. The Raiders will be interviewing other candidates for the job, a process that owner Mark Davis is expected to involve himself with after sitting out the last time.
Handicapping Sparano’s chances is difficult since the scope of the search could still be impacted by a decision to part ways with General Manager Reggie McKenzie, but being in the mix is a lot better than the alternative when you’re trying to land a job.