- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders fired coach Hue Jackson on Tuesday after just one season at the helm in the first major move since Reggie McKenzie was hired as general manager.

The decision to get rid of Jackson came four days after the team announced the hiring of McKenzie as the team’s first general manager since the death of longtime owner Al Davis in October. McKenzie was to be formally introduced later Tuesday.

The move marks a rapid fall for Jackson, who was in charge of personnel decisions and coaching after Davis died of heart failure Oct. 8.

Jackson made the trade for quarterback Carson Palmer after starter Jason Campbell broke his collarbone, costing the Raiders a 2012 first-round draft pick and a conditional 2013 second-rounder.


After starting 7-4, the Raiders lost four of their final five games to mark their ninth straight season without a winning record or a playoff berth. A late-game collapse at home to Detroit on Dec. 18 and a 38-26 loss to San Diego at home in the season finale did in the Raiders and ultimately Jackson.

Texans receiver Mason announces retirement

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason retired after 15 NFL seasons. The two-time Pro Bowl selection caught 943 career passes for 12,061 yards and 66 touchdowns.

Mason, 37, spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans, later playing six seasons for the Baltimore Ravens.

Cut by the Ravens before training camp in July, he was signed by the New York Jets and later traded to the Houston Texans. Houston will play at Baltimore in an AFC second-round playoff game Sunday.

Mason caught 19 passes for 170 yards this season with the Jets and Texans.

Mason plans to pursue a career in broadcasting and has appeared on NFL Network recently.

Falcons’ defense could be hit hard in free agency

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The Falcons are in danger of losing many of their top defensive players as free agents.

Atlanta’s defensive statistical leaders who could be free agents are linebacker Curtis Lofton (tackles), defensive end John Abraham (sacks), safety Thomas DeCoud (interceptions) and cornerback Brent Grimes (passes defensed).

The Falcons have 20 players who can become free agents March 13, including 17 who would be unrestricted free agents. The unusually long list includes longtime starting center Todd McClure, backup quarterback Chris Redman, No. 3 receiver Harry Douglas, backup running back Jason Snelling and return specialist Eric Weems.

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