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NFL notebook

One last go for Holmgren

Seahawks coach to fulfill contract

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Associated Press / January 23, 2008

Mike Holmgren will return for a final season as coach of the Seattle Seahawks.

After spending the weekend with his wife at their offseason Arizona home, the 59-year-old veteran of 16 seasons as an NFL head coach announced his decision yesterday to fulfill the final year of his contract.

"Kathy and I came to this decision to finish my contract," said Holmgren, who had hinted at retirement for weeks. "This will be my last year. We are going to make it the best year ever.

"And then probably after that, I will take a little time off - but not yet. We are going to go after it hard."

The Seahawks have a likely heir to Holmgren in place in Jim Mora.

Soon after Mora was fired as coach of the Atlanta Falcons on New Year's Day, 2007, Holmgren added him to the staff as the assistant head coach and defensive backs coach.

Mora, 46, led Atlanta for three seasons and went to the NFC Championship game in his first season there.

"The transition beyond this year should be really smooth. The organization is healthy," Holmgren said.

He didn't mention Mora by name, leaving talk of his successor "for another press conference. I won't be there."

Holmgren did not rule out a return to football in 2010 or beyond. "Oh, I think you always have to say that's a possibility," he said, "but that's very speculative."

Gruden gets extension

Coach Jon Gruden was rewarded for Tampa Bay's worst-to-first turnaround in the NFC South with a three-year contract extension that runs through the 2011 season.

Gruden, who had one year left on a contract that was extended after the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl five seasons ago, earned about $4.3 million in 2007.

General manager Bruce Allen also was given a three-year extension, keeping him under contract for another four seasons.

Fassel, Redskins talk

Jim Fassel has become a top candidate for the Washington Redskins coaching job after a third interview with owner Dan Snyder.

The former New York Giants coach met with Snyder Monday, according to a person familiar with the selection process.

The person said Fassel is also the previously unidentified candidate who interviewed with the owner Jan. 11-12.

Fassel was also a strong contender for the Redskins job in 2004, but all candidates were eclipsed when Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs decided to come out of retirement. Gibbs resigned two weeks ago.

Owens to return

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones plans to pay Terrell Owens's $3 million roster bonus, which means the All-Pro wide receiver will be back for the final season of his three-year, $25 million contract . . . Denver Broncos safety John Lynch was added to the roster for his ninth Pro Bowl, replacing injured Bob Sanders of the Indianapolis Colts . . . Former Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Rien Long, 26, was in critical condition after he crashed his sports car into a rock wall while driving onto a Nashville interstate . . . The wife of former Cowboys running back Ron Springs is suing two doctors she accuses of letting her husband slip into a coma last October, just months after a kidney donated by ex-teammate Everson Walls appeared to save his life. The medical malpractice lawsuit filed in state district court by Adriane Springs names Dr. Joyce Abraham, Dr. David Godat, and the Texas Anesthesia Group . . . The NFL is citing the same jurisdictional grounds the Titans used to get out of a lawsuit filed by a man paralyzed in a shooting outside a Las Vegas strip club minutes after a melee involving suspended player Adam "Pacman" Jones. Clark County District Court judge Jessie Walsh is due to hear arguments Feb. 20 on the league's claim that Nevada courts lack the reach to hold the league responsible in the wounding of Tommy Urbanski last February outside the Minxx Gentleman's Club . . . Hall of Famer James Lofton was fired as wide receivers coach by the San Diego Chargers, who also released running backs coach Matt Simon . . . Former NFL running back James Saxon joined the Miami Dolphins as running backs coach . . . Patriots-Chargers (44.8 million viewers) and Giants-Packers (53.9 million) were the most-watched conference title games in 13 years.

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