The Oakland Raiders were a pleasant surprise during the 2016 NFL season after they unexpectedly went 12-4 and made the postseason. Despite quarterback Derek Carr suffering a season-ending injury and losing in the wild-card round to the Houston Texans, the team has plenty to look forward to heading into next season.
Second-year head coach Jack Del Rio had the Raiders playing a high level this season, making tough calls in crunch time that resulted in wins. His coaching style coupled with the team’s success impressed management and according to Jason La Confora of CBS Sports, the two are negotiating a deal to keep the Bay Area Native with the team:
Raiders talks with Jack Del Rio on an extension will begin soon. He's an obvious coach of the year candidate. Mark Davis very pleased
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 14, 2017
The fact that Del Rio is being considered for a contract extension speaks volumes of how much confidence owner Mark Davis and the front office have in him to lead the team going forward. The Raiders went 7-9 during Del Rio’s first season with the team, improving on their 3-13 record the previous year. Oakland’s five-game improvement this season is a sign that Del Rio is more than capable of coaching an NFL team and the Raiders would be smart to keep him for the long haul.
Del Rio began his coaching career as an assistant for the New Orleans Saints. After stops with the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers, he eventually became the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Del Rio was eventually fired after eight seasons with the team and later became a defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos.
If Del Rio and the Raiders can agree on terms for an extension, the two will have more opportunities to add another championship to the franchise.