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Raiders continue process as others teams find head coaches

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders now have the only head-coaching vacancy in the NFL.

With the Denver Broncos' hiring of John Fox on Thursday, six of the seven head-coaching vacancies have been filled this offseason. Earlier Thursday, the Cleveland Brownshired Pat Shurmur as coach.

The Raiders announced last week that they wouldn't pick up a two-year, $5 million option to retain coach Tom Cable, who went 17-27 in two-plus seasons. This season, he led the Raiders to an 8-8 mark, their best since 2002.

"The interview process is ongoing," Raiders senior executive John Herrera said. "We have been doing our due diligence with our current assistant coaches. That process has been ongoing all week."

Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is considered a favorite to land the head-coaching job. He's already under contract as an assistant for next season.

The contracts of many of the other assistants, including defensive coordinator John Marshall, expire next Tuesday. Marshall could be in jeopardy after the Raiders allowed at least 30 points in six of their eight losses.

Jackson came to Oakland after the 2009 season and assumed play-calling duties from Cable. The improvement on offense was the biggest reason why the Raiders won three more games than they had in any of the previous seven seasons.

Led by quarterback Jason Campbell, a breakout season from running back Darren McFadden and big plays from rookie wide receiver Jacoby Ford, 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 the 2009 scoring output.

If Jackson receives the job, he would be the sixth first-time NFL coach out of the seven hired this offseason, with Fox being the only experienced candidate.

The Vikings and Cowboys kept their interim coaches, with Leslie Frazier staying in Minnesota after replacing Brad Childress during the year and Jason Garrett keeping the Dallas job he took over from Wade Phillips.

Two teams went the NFL coordinator route, with Shurmur replacing Eric Mangini in Cleveland and Ron Rivera taking Fox's place in Carolina. San Francisco went to the college ranks to hire Jim Harbaugh from Stanford to replace Mike Singletary.

The other big development for the Raiders so far this offseason was the news that the final year of Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha's contract had voided because he didn't meet certain incentives.

The Raiders previously had an option for 2011, which would be worth either $16.8 million or the amount of the quarterback franchise tag, whichever is greater.

Now Asomugha will be an unrestricted free agent. The Raiders can either sign him or likely receive a compensatory draft pick in 2012 if he signs with another team.

Asomugha was paid $28.5 million in the first two years of the contract.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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