According to Kate Longworth of CSNBayArea.com, the Raiders and their new head coach are no longer working on a hand shake agreement. Two sources have told CSN Bay Area that the Raiders and Dennis Allen have agreed to a four year contract.
When it comes to the contract of a head coach in the NFL, perhaps the least important part of the contract is its length. Lets face it, if a coach wins, he stays, if he loses, he gets fired. No one cares how many years the contract is for and most of the time, no one even really knows.
The news of the length of the contract is not significant. It is, however, significant to know that an actual agreement has been placed on paper. The fact that up to this point, all of this was based on a handshake agreement made me really nervous. This is the Oakland Raiders we are talking about after all. Would anyone be all that surprised if instead of news breaking about the length of the contract, news broke about the two sides not being able to come to an agreement?
Besides putting pessimists like myself at ease, news of the signing also means that Allen no longer needs to focus on his contract with the Raiders and can focus all of his attention on assembling a coaching staff.
Since Allen is a defensive coach, the most important hire he will have to make is at the offensive coordinator position. The defensive coaching staff will be fairly easy to assemble. I am sure Allen already knows what type of defense to run and has an idea of what coaches would fit int that plan.
With the offensive side of the ball, Allen needs to figure out what kind of offense he would like to see in Oakland before he can even identify potential offensive coordinator candidates. While Allen has been given the power to hire his own staff, I have a feeling that Reggie McKenzie will be close by in order to ensure the process goes smoothly.