Tom Cable won't return as Raiders coach.
The Raiders announced on Jan. 4 their decision not to exercise the two-year, $5 million option on Cable's contract for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
Cable, 46, led the Raiders to an 8-8 record in the 2010 season, Oakland's first non-losing season since winning the AFC championship in the 2002 season.
"Coach Cable was informed the club would not be exercising its option for the 2011 season, and that he's free to seek employment elsewhere," his agent, Don Yee, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "Teams already have shown interest in Tom."
Cable had a 17-27 record in two plus seasons as Raiders head coach since replacing the fired Lane Kiffin four games into the 2008 seasons. Cable joined the Raiders in 2007 as offensive line coach.
In the 2010 season, the Raiders became the first team in NFL history to go 6-0 in division games and not make the playoffs. The Raiders were 2-8 outside the AFC West.
The Raiders reportedly had a Jan. 17 deadline to inform Cable, right, whether they would exercise the two-year option on his contract. Oakland's three-win improvement from the 2009 season and its most victories since 2002 wasn't enough progress for Raiders managing general partner Al Davis to retain Cable.
“It was obviously a huge surprise with the progress we made from last year to this year, but I guess the owner made a decision for his reasons,” left guard Robert Gallery told the Oakland Tribune on Jan. 4. “Our locker room is definitely behind coach Cable.
“This is going to hit 99 percent of the locker room really hard because people respected how he dealt with us and where we were headed. It's definitely a step back from what we've done going forward the last year or two.”
Davis’ decision not to retain Cable reportedly will have ramifications on the team’s attempt to re-sign some of its 27 prospective free agents.
“I’ve already had a couple of players call me and say, ‘What’s going on? We thought he was going to be back,’ ” Lechler told the Tribune. “What it does is it’s going to influence a lot of guys’ decision on free agency. You’re probably going to, for damned sure, lose Robert Gallery now. You’re going to lose Michael Bush now, for sure. You’re going to lose a bunch of guys that are great football players, and just because of this move.”
Oakland now seeks its sixth head coach since Jon Gruden left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2001 season. Cable is the Raiders' eighth head coach since the team returned to Oakland in 1995.
Cable's dismissal comes the same day the Raiders reportedly granted the San Francisco 49ers permission to interview Oakland offensive coordinator Hue Jackson for their head coaching position. Jackson is credited with jumpstarting Oakland's offense during the 2010 season.
Led by running back Darren McFadden, the Raiders finished sixth in the league in scoring with 410 points. That was the sixth-most points scored in a season in franchise history and more than doubled last season's scoring output of 197 points.