Report: Shell could be out as Raiders coach

Report: Shell could be out as Raiders coach
By Jason Cole and Charles Robinson
January 4, 2007

Coach Art Shell could be fired by the Oakland Raiders this week, according to two sources within the organization.

Shell, who guided the Raiders to a league-worst 2-14 mark this season, and his agent, Danny More, were called into a meeting with Oakland managing general partner Al Davis on Thursday. The belief by both sources was that Davis was negotiating a settlement with Shell for the final year of his contract.

Shell is set to make approximately $2 million next season, the final year of a two-year contract he signed a year ago. Shell was hired to replace Norv Turner, who was let go after two seasons.

Given the frequent turnover among Raiders' head coaches – Shell was the third hire since Jon Gruden was let out of his contract following the 2001 season to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – and the team's dismal showing, there's been speculation of Shell's demise much of the season. There was then a report by the NFL Network two weeks ago that Shell would be fired at season's end, but the Raiders vehemently denied the story.

The Raiders have gone 15-49 in the four years since falling to the Bucs in Super Bowl XXXVII, losing at least 11 games in each season. The Raiders own the No. 1 pick in the draft this year, but the organization has become an unpopular destination among coaches because of Davis involvement in the day-to-day operation of the team and because of the inability to discipline players.

This would mark the second time that Davis has fired Shell. The Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman previously coached the team from 1989-94, compiling a 54-38 record and making the playoffs three times in that span. It's believed that Shell will assume a front-office role if he's indeed fired as head coach.

Updated on Thursday, Jan 4, 2007 6:51 pm, EST

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