All signs point to the Raiders joining a growing contingent that is severing ties with Cable these days and seeking a different connection.
In the Raiders' case, that means parting ways with coach Tom Cable and hitching their floundering franchise to another coach who has a fresh set of ideas and the patience to put up with quarterback JaMarcus Russell.
Managing general partner Al Davis has yet to weigh in publicly on the matter. However, several people close to Davis say he is inclined to fire Cable and hire a new coach for the sixth time since Jon Gruden was jettisoned after the 2001 season.
Sunday's regular-season finale 21-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens did little to bolster Cable's case for a second full season; he replaced the fired Lane Kiffin four games into the 2008 season.
The Raiders lost at home for the sixth time, allowed a handful of big plays and reached the 11-loss mark for the seventh straight season.
When asked if he expected to be the coach next season, Cable said: "I am, because I see, and you all see, too, where this team is going, and what we've been able to accomplish in proving some things.
"Where we are offensively since the Cincinnati game speaks volumes but, again, yeah, I'm pretty sure. As sure as I can be." Not coincidentally, the Cincinnati game marked the beginning of the post-Russell era this season. The Raiders were 2-7 with Russell as the starter, 3-4 with Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye.
Yet, the Raiders became far more proficient in the passing game under Gradkowski and Frye the final seven games.
For his part, Russell said his play this season was "shaky" and that he needs to work on "everything" in the offseason.
"There's always room for improvement," Russell said Sunday. "Why not start with yourself, from the top to the bottom?"
In the end, Sunday's game will have little, if any, impact on Davis' decision on whether to bring back Cable or begin anew once again. Cable said he has not received an assurance from Davis that he will be asked back.
Davis' decision, the sources said, will be predicated more upon Cable's inability to coax more points out an offense that Cable directed and his refusal to stick with Russell beyond nine games.
Davis isn't ready to give up on Russell after only three seasons, even if it took Cable only 21 games to determine that Gradkowski and Frye "give us a better chance to win." Davis has a ton invested in Russell, for sure. Russell was the No. 1 pick of the 2007 NFL draft and is in to the Raiders for $39 million so far.
In return, Russell has guided the Raiders to just seven victories in his 25 starts, and was the league's lowest-rated passer and owner of the worst-completion percentage this season.
Russell is the only one of Oakland's top three quarterbacks under contract next season. Gradkowski and Frye signed one-year contracts and aren't assured of returning for a second season.
It's likely that the Raiders will attempt to re-sign Gradkowski based upon his solid play in relief of Russell. Russell is slated to earn a base salary of $9.45 million in 2010, of which $3 million is guaranteed regardless whether he is on the roster.
Cable has made it clear on more than one occasion that he doesn't view Russell as a suitable option as the unquestioned starter as long as Russell struggles with his weight, accuracy and work ethic.
On Sunday, Cable said that there's hope for Russell as an NFL player, though he wouldn't commit to him as the starter next season.
"There always is for anyone who has the talent," Cable said.
To a man, the Raiders are behind Cable. They point to his consistency, focus and dedication as reasons why they want him back, the team's 5-11 record notwithstanding.
"It's huge," right guard Cooper Carlisle said of bringing back Cable. "He deserves a shot. He had some tough breaks early. Everybody respects him, everybody plays hard for him, and he does a lot of things that are positive and that work." Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said it would be "big" to stay the course with Cable.
"Sometimes it doesn't take a coach two years, sometimes it does take him three," Asomugha said. "Tom during his speech today said, 'This is a playoff team and next year we'll be in the playoffs.'
"We started to get a rhythm and we started to understand what we were doing. I would definitely try to get Cable back, just because that gives us some consistency."
Asomugha said he and the other team captains will voice their support of Cable if the need arises.
"It's very important to have that consistency," Asomugha said. "Any business or company that is continually changing the boss or CEO, they have a tough time with whatever it is they're doing." Yet, several players said, they realize that no amount of support might be enough to save Cable if Davis wants to make a change.
"The offseason is about to hit right now," defensive tackle Gerard Warren said. "We'll see what decisions Mr. Davis makes, who needs to stay, who needs to go, what changes need to be made.
"Guys fought with a lot of effort this year, but 5-11 just don't get it cut, man. We're trying to be in the playoff race and go try to get this (Super Bowl) ring. That's what the game's all about."