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Kliff Kingsbury calls audible, won’t take Raiders coordinator’s job

Updated February 3, 2024 - 1:50 pm

In a stunning turn of events Saturday, Kliff Kingsbury withdrew his name from consideration as the Raiders’ offensive coordinator.

According to an NFL source familiar with the situation, the deal between the Raiders and Kingsbury, which was first reported Thursday, was “done until it wasn’t done.” The source indicated an unexpected snag in negotiations resulted in an unsalvageable breakdown.

Not long after the deal fell apart, Kingsbury emerged as the leading candidate for the Washington Commanders’ offensive coordinator job. The Commanders have the second pick in April’s draft and are in a position to draft one of the premier quarterback prospects.

A source indicated the Commanders’ draft position was not the driving force in the breakdown between Kingsbury and the Raiders.

This is not the first time Kingsbury has abruptly backed out of a job. In 2019, he spent 34 days as the offensive coordinator at Southern California before leaving to become the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals

Kingsbury spent four seasons as the Cardinals’ coach from 2019 to 2022. His firing occurred 10 months after he agreed to a contract extension that ran through the 2027 season, leaving Arizona on the hook for $30 million. The Cardinals still owe Kingsbury about $20 million.

Whether that money and what the Raiders were offering played a role in the breakdown is not known. One source said the Raiders’ unwillingness to offer more than a two-year deal was problematic from Kingsbury’s perspective.

Kingsbury, 44, spent last season as an offensive assistant at USC. He also was Texas Tech’s head coach from 2013 to 2018.

It’s not known where the Raiders turn from here, as several candidates they interviewed have landed jobs elsewhere.

UCLA head coach Chip Kelly, who interviewed twice for the Raiders’ offensive coordinator job, was mentioned Saturday by sources as a potential target. The 60-year-old is also considered a candidate for the Commanders’ coordinator position.

The Raiders are expected to hire former NFL running back DeShaun Foster as their running backs coach. Foster has been an assistant coach at UCLA since 2017, most recently as the associate head coach and running backs coach under Kelly.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on X.

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