The Oakland Raiders informed Coach Tom Cable on Tuesday that they will not bring him back as coach next season even though he led them to their best record in eight years this season.
The Raiders announced their decision not to exercise a two-year, $5-million option on Cable's contract for 2011 and 2012, two days after wrapping up an 8-8 season that gave Oakland its first non-losing record since winning the 2002 AFC championship.
"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."
The Raiders now begin their search for their sixth coach since Jon Gruden left for Tampa Bay following the 2001 season. Cable lasted longer than any of the previous five, with a 17-27 record since being promoted from offensive line coach to interim head coach early in the 2008 season after Lane Kiffin was fired.
Cable had wide support from his players, who credited him with helping make the team a contender in the AFC West this season after a run of seven straight years of at least 11 losses. But that was not enough to persuade owner Al Davis to bring him back for a third full season.
Lewis to remain with Bengals
The front office won't change significantly. The Cincinnati Bengals will still be practicing in the cold. Even with all that, Marvin Lewis decided to stay.
Lewis agreed to an unspecified contract extension that will make him the longest-tenured coach in club history. Owner Mike Brown agreed to changes in the coaching staff and the roster as part of a deal that left both sides comfortable.
The Bengals are coming off a 4-12 season and have had only two winning records in the last 20 years — both under Lewis, who is 60-69-1 in eight seasons, including losses in both playoff appearances.
"We are close to being the kind of team we can be," Brown said. "I think continuity will give us the best shot at becoming that team. We have a good relationship, Marvin and I. We work well together. It isn't an easy relationship, but it's a good one."
Lewis wanted to stay, but only if there were changes in how the team operates. The team initially offered an extension last season, when the Bengals were on their way to winning the AFC North title.
The coach and owner met Monday and talked about what Lewis needed to stay. They had more discussions Tuesday morning and reached an agreement in the afternoon.
Panthers want Luck
The Carolina Panthers plan to hold onto the No. 1 pick in the draft for the chance to take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, and are leaning toward hiring an NFL assistant coach to replace John Fox.
Owner Jerry Richardson said that Fox's inability to post consecutive winning seasons is why he's out after nine years. Richardson also acknowledged he considered letting Fox go a year ago, but let him coach the final year of his contract because cutting him loose would have cost $11.4 million in salary due to his entire staff.
Luck, a redshirt sophomore, has until Jan. 15 to decide whether to leave school early.
Jets respond to suit
The New York Jets say a lawsuit filed against them and Brett Favre by two massage therapists is "completely without merit," and the team had not been aware of the accusations.
Christina Scavo and Shannon O'Toole contend in a lawsuit filed Monday they were subjected to sexual harassment and job discrimination. They are seeking unspecified damages from Favre, the Jets and a team massage coordinator, saying they lost their part-time jobs after complaining about sexually suggestive text messages from the 41-year-old quarterback while he was with the team in 2008.
"Unfortunately, the plaintiffs never reported the allegations to the Jets, either during or after the conclusion of their work," the team said in a statement Tuesday. "The case against the Jets is completely without merit, and we look forward to defending the matter in court, where we are confident that the Jets will prevail."
New York Giants offensive lineman Rich Seubert had surgery to repair a dislocated right kneecap. He was hurt in the first quarter of the Giants' season-ending 17-14 win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday. … Rookie running back Chris Ivory has been placed on injured reserve by the New Orleans Saints with a left foot injury. Ivory, who led the team with 716 yards rushing, was injured in Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.