Saunders out of running for Raiders' job

Updated: January 17, 2004, 11:35 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders has signed a contract extension, thereby taking himself out of the running for the Raiders' head coaching vacancy, ESPN.com's John Clayton reported Saturday.

The new deal makes Saunders one of the highest paid offensive coordinators in the NFL, paying him $1 million annually.

Dick Vermeil recently agreed to a two-year extension to coach the Chiefs through 2005. Vermeil, who is 67, has stated that he would like Saunders to succeed him as Kansas City's coach.

The Raiders, who fired Bill Callahan following the regular season, are the only NFL team still looking for a head coach. Saunders had previously turned down the coaching job at Nebraska -- and the 'Huskers eventually hired Callahan.

Under Vermeil's and Saunders' guidance, the Chiefs have had one of the most dynamic offenses in the league the last few seasons. The Chiefs scored the most points (30.3 per game) in the NFL this season.

Their defense let them down in a 38-31 loss to the Colts in the divisional playoffs. Earlier this week, defensive coordinator Greg Robinson resigned.