Contract Negotiations Slowing Raiders’ Search For Assistants?

The Raiders are getting closer to finalizing Jack Del Rio’s assistants, but notably absent from his staff is a defensive coordinator.

The DC search, last week described by Adam Schefter as “all over the place,” may drag out if the Raiders end up adding a college coach – they were linked to Louisville DC Todd Grantham this morning.


Del Rio previously missed on two top coordinator targets – Marc Trestman interviewed, but fled for Baltimore. Mike Smith is believed to have interviewed, but seems content to sit out.

So what’s slowing the process? One explanation could be contract terms. Mark Davis doesn’t favor three-year deals for assistants. Last year the majority of Dennis Allen’s staff were given one-year contracts. Trestman interviewed in Oakland, but very soon after accepted a three-year deal with Baltimore.

Davis said Del Rio would have “all the resources he needs” to sign top assistants, but the San Francisco Chronicle’s Vic Tafur believes contract length and money are “definitely a factor” in a coordinator hunt that has lasted longer than expected.

A concern is that the Raiders will end up “settling” on coordinators – offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave offers experience, but not necessarily a rich history of success (evidenced by his short list of interest from other teams?). Of course, Musgrave could turn into a great hire, but skepticism comes easy in Oakland – the Raiders anemic offense has only been interrupted once (by Hue Jackson) in over a decade.

As for Grantham (if hired), his resume is similar to Musgrave’s. At best, an intriguing option. At worst, a career journeyman… willing to accept a pay-as-you-go promotion.