Green Was Ready To Jump To Raiders

Denny Green has hung up the "gone fishin'" sign, but VU has learned it may not have been for long.

Dennis Green is sitting in unofficial retirement from football, collecting a big check from Red McCombs, involved in a professional fishing venture and dabbling in ownership of an auto racing enterprise.

But football remains his first love and, according to a VU source close to Green, he was prepared to make his retirement a short one.

VU has been told the Tampa Bay Bucs were willing to offer the Oakland Raiders a slew of draft picks to get Jon Gruden from Al Davis as their new head coach, but apparently the deal fell through when Davis insisted not only on draft picks, but All-Pro Warren Sapp thrown in for good measure -- killing the deal.

Had Davis swung the deal to get the disgruntled Gruden out of Oakland, VU has been told Green would have been at or near the top of a very short list for a replacement and, from what we're hearing, Green would have jumped at the chance to return to the NFL for one of his dream jobs -- the 49ers or Raiders.

However, the hiring of Marvin Lewis, the former defensive coordinator for the Ravens, by the Bucs, it's a moot point now.

FRIDAY NOTES
* With the season officially over, the NFC and AFC Central have been retired. If you look at magazines like Pro Football Weekly or The Sporting News, they're now referring to the new alignment of divisions, meaning Seattle is now an NFC team and the Vikes are in the newly created NFC North.
* The NFL switched the Pro Bowl from its usual Sunday spot to tomorrow, hoping that the lack of competition for the Saturday afternoon time slot will help improve the typically low ratings of the game. While the game is on ABC, playoff games on both CBS and FOX advertised the game being played Feb. 9 -- of course they didn't say what network the game would on.

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