Coach Marvin Lewis got a two-year contract extension Tuesday, providing him two more chances to try to get the Cincinnati Bengals the playoff victory that has eluded him for 15 seasons.
The agreement came after a second straight losing season and two days of discussions with owner Mike Brown. Lewis has the second-longest active coaching tenure in the NFL, behind Bill Belichick’s 18 seasons with New England.
Unlike Belichick, who has won five Super Bowls and made two other appearances in the title game, Lewis is 0-7 in the playoffs, the worst coaching record in NFL history. The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990 season, the sixth-longest streak of futility in league history.
Paul Brown Stadium was half-empty for the final home game, an indication fans had given up on the team and were hoping for change.
Instead, Brown decided to stay the course and keep Lewis, who wanted more say over the coaching staff and the roster if he stayed.
‘‘Marvin has made significant contributions during his time here,’’ Brown said in a statement.
Lewis has by far the longest coaching tenure in team history — founder Paul Brown and Sam Wyche are tied for second at eight years — and a 125-119-3 record.
Jon Gruden hopes he’s a candidate to return for a second stint as coach of the Raiders, and believes a final decision will be made next week. Gruden made his most specific comments about the opening in Oakland in an interview with the Bay Area News Group. When asked specifically if he were a candidate, Gruden replied: ‘‘Well, I think I am being considered, yes. I hope I'm a candidate.’’ . . . Ted Thompson is out after 13 years as general manager of the Packers but will remain as senior adviser of football operations . . . The Browns have received permission to interview Texans quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan to be their offensive coordinator. Browns coach Hue Jackson, 1-31 with the Browns, has handled the play-calling duties over the past two seasons.
Vikings QB Sam Bradford returned to practice, two months after a cleanup surgery on his left knee. Bradford, who led the Vikings to a season-opening win over New Orleans before experiencing pain in the twice-repaired joint, had the latest procedure done on Nov. 7. ‘‘Sam was out there slinging it, like he always is, so I'm pumped for him to get back,’’ said Case Keenum, who took over for Bradford and helped lead the team to a 13-3 record. The Vikings have a first-round bye and open the postseason at home on Jan. 14 . . . Cardinals QB Carson Palmer, 38, is retiring after 15 NFL seasons . . . Giddy Buffalo fans are making a surge in donations to Andy Dalton’s foundation, their way of thanking the Bengals QB for his role in the Bills’ long-awaited playoff appearance. Dalton threw a 49-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left to eliminate the Ravens and open a spot for the Bills.
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