Earlier this week, the word came out that Mark Davis was offering the Raiders assistants only one-year extensions. Some coaches were said to not be too keen on such a deal. The most notable was offensive line coach Tony Sparano who was reported to have headed to Tampa Bay looking join new Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith's staff there. Looks like the Raiders upped their offer to see to it that didn't happen.
The Raiders announced today that Sparano will return to the team on a 2-year deal, which was the kind of deal he was looking for in the first place and the main reason he explored other options. From the looks of it, he essentially called Mark Davis' bluff and he used the interest from the Buccaneers as leverage. Well played.
Sparano joined the Raiders last off-season on a one-year deal to be the Raiders' offensive line coach and assistant head coach. He had been fired as offensive coordinator for the New York Jets.
His work as an offensive line coach is well established and if he left the Raiders, it would be a huge loss. Likewise, his return could be vital to the success of this team as it continues to rebuild under head coach Dennis Allen.
He becomes the first of the assistants to sign a new deal with the team and one of just three assistants still with a contract. The others are offensive coordinator Greg Olson and linebackers coach Bob Sanders.