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Jon Gruden gave a hint as to his plans for Marshawn Lynch next season, but the returning Oakland Raiders coach would not fully commit to Lynch coming back to the team, either.

Not with the CBA prohibiting most contact between coaches and players at this point of the offseason — April 9 is a big day for Gruden, who is returning to the sidelines for the first time since 2008 — and with Gruden and his staff still wading through the roster and the front office analyzing the salary cap situation.

“He’s still a beast, that’s hard to bring down,” Gruden said Wednesday of Lynch at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. “And one of the reasons I’m excited to be with the Raiders is to join forces with Lynch. But we’ll see what happens. Obviously, we have to take a look at the entire roster. But I’m counting on him. I’m counting on him being a big part of our football team.”

After taking a while to get going following a year off in retirement, Lynch was the Raiders’ best offensive player in the second half of last season. He rushed for 625 yards and averaged 4.6 yards per carry with five rushing touchdowns in Oakland’s final eight games. This after rushing for 266 yards and averaging 3.7 yards per carry and scoring two touchdowns in seven games before serving a one-game suspension for making contact with an official.

Lynch turns 32 on April 22 and cutting him would save the Raiders more than $5.9 million against the cap. Oakland currently has about $19.5 million in cap room, per ESPN Stats & Information.

And if Lynch does return, Gruden would also like to see a healthy Jamize Olawale, who missed four games last season, at fullback to complement Lynch.

“I like Jamize,” Gruden said. “I mean, he didn’t play much last year. He had some injuries. I think that hurt the offense as well, He gives the offense some deception because he can run. He’s a fullback with speed.

“I would like to have a fullback. They’re a dying breed in football but I think it does give your running game a lot of deception. And if Marshawn Lynch is the feature back, I think it would be nice if we serviced him with a fullback.”

Gruden mentioned Michael Robinson serving in that role for Lynch in Seattle.

“And you need a blocking tight end,” Gruden added, and yes, Lee Smith will be a free agent for Oakland, “if you’re going to slam the ball with a beast.

“So those are two things that I’m looking for.”

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Houston Texans expected to seek second interviews with Bills’ Leslie Frazier, Chiefs’ Eric Bieniemy, sources say

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The Houston Texans are expected to request second interviews with Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy after Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, sources told ESPN.

Both candidates believe they have a legitimate chance to land the Texans’ head-coaching job and have begun assembling a coaching staff in the event that they are hired, sources said.

Frazier is said to have had a strong interview with the Texans and has previous head-coaching experience from his time with the Minnesota Vikings. Bieniemy is viewed in many circles as a head coach in waiting, though he has recently been passed over by several teams.

As Houston’s head-coaching search ramps up, the winning coordinator from Sunday’s game could be the loser in the Texans’ search, as they would have to wait to hire him. The Texans could act quicker with the coordinator from the losing team.

This scenario played a key role in the Los Angeles Chargers‘ hiring of Brandon Staley last weekend over Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Once Staley’s Rams were eliminated from the playoffs, the Chargers were unwilling to wait for Daboll and hired Staley.

Other candidates the Texans have interviewed include quarterback Josh McCown, former Lions and Colts coach Jim Caldwell, Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and Ravens assistant head coach David Culley.

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Source — Tom Brady to make $1M in incentives if Tampa Bay Buccaneers win Super Bowl

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Tom Brady would continue to build on his legacy — and his fortune — if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win the Super Bowl.

Brady will cash in on a $500,000 contract incentive if the Bucs beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday and win the NFC Championship Game, a source told ESPN. The star quarterback will make another $500,000 if the Bucs win Super Bowl LV, according to the source.

Brady already has collected $1.25 million in incentives during Tampa Bay’s postseason run — $500,000 for making it to the playoffs, $250,000 for the Bucs wild-card win at Washington, and another $500,000 for last Sunday’s divisional playoff win against the New Orleans Saints, according to the source.

With a victory Sunday in Green Bay, the 43-year-old Brady will reach the Super Bowl for the 10th time in his storied career. He is trying to join Kurt Warner, Peyton Manning and Craig Morton as the only quarterbacks to lead two separate franchises to a Super Bowl.

Brady, who won six Super Bowls and played in nine total with the New England Patriots, passed for 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns this season — his first with the Buccaneers. The three-time league MVP is trying to lead the Bucs to their first Super Bowl berth since their 2002 championship season.

“It’s been fun just being here, and I had a great time in New England, as well,” Brady said Friday. “I’ve had a great 21 years. I’m a very blessed and lucky guy. The fact that I’m still playing football, for me, is a blessing.”

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Source — Tom Brady to make $1M in incentives if Tampa Bay Buccaneers win Super Bowl

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Tom Brady would continue to build on his legacy — and his fortune — if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win the Super Bowl.

Brady will cash in on a $500,000 contract incentive if the Bucs beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday and win the NFC Championship Game, a source told ESPN. The star quarterback will make another $500,000 if the Bucs win Super Bowl LV, according to the source.

Brady already has collected $1.25 million in incentives during Tampa Bay’s postseason run — $500,000 for making it to the playoffs, $250,000 for the Bucs wild-card win at Washington, and another $500,000 for last Sunday’s divisional playoff win against the New Orleans Saints, according to the source.

With a victory Sunday in Green Bay, the 43-year-old Brady will reach the Super Bowl for the 10th time in his storied career. He is trying to join Kurt Warner, Peyton Manning and Craig Morton as the only quarterbacks to lead two separate franchises to a Super Bowl.

Brady, who won six Super Bowls and played in nine total with the New England Patriots, passed for 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns this season — his first with the Buccaneers. The three-time league MVP is trying to lead the Bucs to their first Super Bowl berth since their 2002 championship season.

“It’s been fun just being here, and I had a great time in New England, as well,” Brady said Friday. “I’ve had a great 21 years. I’m a very blessed and lucky guy. The fact that I’m still playing football, for me, is a blessing.”

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