Rod Marinelli went off the market Wednesday, Bobby Petrino took himself off the market, and Al Saunders might be next.

Marinelli, who interviewed with the Oakland Raiders for their head coaching position Monday, reached agreement on a contract to become head coach of the Detroit Lions.

Petrino, in response to his name being linked with the Raiders, released a statement through the Louisville athletic department reaffirming his commitment to the university.

Saunders, the first person to be interviewed Jan.11, was scheduled to meet with the Washington Redskins today for a lucrative position as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator, an NFL source said.

The Raiders would not confirm an interview Tuesday with Petrino, as reported Wednesday in ANG Newspapers. A team official said the Raiders have contacted several candidates by phone and that identifying a college candidate is ''delicate" because schools are currently recruiting.

Petrino, while not denying he spoke with the Raiders, issued the following statement:

''I understand my name is being mentioned in connection with job openings in the National Football League, but I want to reiterate my commitment to the University of Louisville, our players and all of our Cardinal fans. ... I'm committed to fulfilling our goal of taking the program to the next level."

Cardinalsports.com, a Web site devoted to Louisville athletics, reported that Alabama recruit Deantwan ''Peanut" Whitehead spoke with Petrino Wednesday at his high school.


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Petrino joined Fresno State coach Pat Hill, whose name has also been linked with the Raiders, as college coaches who removed their name from consideration. Hill received an extension to remain at Fresno State through 2010.

Saunders could receive an offer from the deep pockets of Washington owner Daniel Snyder that would exceed what he could make as the Raiders head coach.

Washington took defensive coordinator Gregg Williams off the market with a three-year contract worth a reported $8 million, making him the highest paid assistant coach in the league.

Williams' deal also stipulates he could leave after one year if he wanted to be a head coach elsewhere. The appeal for Saunders would be the possibility of succeeding Joe Gibbs if Gibbs were to retire after Williams departed.

Saunders has been down that road before, deciding to remain in Kansas City in 2004 with the chance to take over when Dick Vermeil retired. The Chiefs instead traded for the Jets' Herman Edwards.

The only other candidate the Raiders would confirm to have interviewed is Chargers wide receivers coach James Lofton, a longshot considering he has only been a coach since 2002.

With CBS Sportsline reporting the Rams having reached agreement with Scott Linehan and the Lions deciding on Marinelli, the only unfilled vacancies are in Oakland, Houston and Buffalo.

The Texans are believed to be poised to hire Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak once the Broncos complete the season.

In other matters, a team official said the club is working to retain the services of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. An NFL source said Ryan had already agreed to stay in Oakland but has since asked to be released from his contract so he could join Eric Mangini on the New York Jets staff.

A league source said the Green Bay Packers are interested in talking to Raiders running backs coach Skip Peete, but the club had not granted permission to speak to him. The source also said the Raiders have retained defensive line coach Keith Millard.

Alexander will play Sunday

KIRKLAND, Wash. — Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren removed all doubt: NFL MVP Shaun Alexander will play in Sunday's conference championship game against Carolina.

The league rushing champion sustained a concussion last Saturday in the first quarter of Seattle's win over Washington. Alexander later said he was unconscious initially and then "out" of it for about 20 minutes.

But Holmgren said Wednesday the All-Pro back will be ready for the Panthers.

"Shaun's full go," the coach said. "He passed some tests we gave him. He participated in our walk-through. He's going to be fine."

Bills interview Sherman

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman interviewed Wednesday with the Buffalo Bills, bringing the team a step closer to hiring its new head coach. Sherman and Detroit Lions interim coach Dick Jauron are considered the front-runners. The team also interviewed Bills special teams coordinator Bobby April.

Around the league

-Pittsburgh linebacker Joey Porter won't be fined by the NFL for criticizing officials after the Steelers beat Indianapolis. NFL coaches are subject to fines for criticizing officials, but players usually aren't fined.

-The San Diego Chargers fired offensive line coach Carl Mauck and assistant secondary coach Albert Lewis. Each had a year left on his contract.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.