NFL: Bengals coach Marvin Lewis gets extension
Coach Marvin Lewis got a two-year contract extension, providing more chances to try to get the Cincinnati Bengals that playoff victory that has eluded him for 15 seasons.
The agreement came after a second straight losing season and two days of discussions with owner Mike Brown. Lewis has the second-longest active coaching tenure in the NFL, behind Bill Belichick’s 18 seasons with New England.
Lewis is 0-7 in the playoffs, the worst coaching record in NFL history. The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990 season, the sixth-longest streak of futility in league history.
Ted Thompson is out as GM of Packers
Ted Thompson is out as general manager of the Green Bay Packers but will remain as senior advisor of football operations.
It’s a big change after one of the league’s most successful teams missed the playoffs and finished with a losing record (7-9) for the first time since 2008.
Mark Murphy, the team’s president and chief executive, announced the move. The Packers’ Super Bowl victory in 2010 was the highlight of Thompson’s 13-year tenure.
Jon Gruden hopes he’s a candidate for Raiders
Jon Gruden hopes he’s a candidate to return for a second stint as coach of the Oakland Raiders and believes a final decision will be made next week.
Gruden made his most specific comments about the opening in Oakland in an interview Tuesday with the Bay Area News Group. The Raiders fired coach Jack Del Rio on Sunday following a 6-10 season.
“My understanding is they’re interviewing candidates this week and they’re going to let everybody know sometime early next week or whenever they make their decision,” Gruden told the paper.
When asked specifically if he was a candidate, Gruden replied: “Well, I think I am being considered, yes. I hope I’m a candidate.”
Hall of Fame finalists
Star linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher are among four first-time eligible former players selected among the 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018.
Receiver Randy Moss and guard Steve Hutchinson also made the cut to the finals in their first year of eligibility. They join Tony Boselli, Isaac Bruce, Brian Dawkins, Alan Faneca, Joe Jacoby, Edgerrin James, Ty Law, John Lynch, Kevin Mawae, Terrell Owens and Everson Walls for consideration.
Voting by the Hall of Fame selectors will be Feb. 3 in Minneapolis. Inductions will be in August.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford returned to practice, two months after a cleanup surgery on his left knee. Bradford, who led the Vikings to a season-opening win over New Orleans before experiencing pain in the twice-repaired joint, had the latest procedure done on Nov. 7. He was placed on injured reserve the following day, so the team could activate Teddy Bridgewater from the physically unable to perform list. The Vikings have to decide whether to put Bradford back on the active roster for the playoffs. Bridgewater and Kyle Sloter are the current backups to Case Keenum. ... The Kansas City Chiefs placed wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas (leg) and running back Akeem Hunt (ankle) on injured reserve.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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