Kiffin on Carroll's potential list?
If you're wondering why Monte Kiffin hasn't yet agreed to terms on a contract extension with the Bucs, here's a pretty good theory: he might be waiting on good friend Pete Carroll to decide his own fate.
As we hear it from a person close to Carroll, the USC coach continues to have dialogue with the Falcons about possibly taking over as head coach. And now, ESPN is reporting that Kiffin, the Bucs' defensive coordinator, is among the names submitted to Atlanta ownership by Carroll as someone who might be part of a potential coaching staff.
Though it's all still very hypothetical, the prospect of Kiffin joining his close friend on the staff of a division rival puts Kiffin in a strong negotiating position with the Bucs.
It's believed the Bucs and Kiffin's agent -- hard-bargaining Jimmy Sexton -- still have some work to do in their negotiations. Kiffin, who is not under contract for 2008, is already one of the highest-paid coordinators in the league at $1.7-million annually. But Washington's two coordinators, Gregg Williams and Al Saunders are in the $2-million range.
Bucs general manager Bruce Allen on Thursday confirmed the team had indeed extended an offer to Kiffin, but declined to characterize the talks. He did, however, seem confident Kiffin would return.
Kiffin and Carroll have strong ties. Kiffin's son, Lane, worked under Carroll before taking over as the Raiders head coach in 2007. In 2006, Kiffin spearheaded the hiring of two USC defensive position coaches -- secondary coach Greg Burns and line coach Jethro Franklin -- though both have since been fired. USC's coaches often spend time learning under Kiffin in the offseason.