Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio was fired after his third year when the impressive turnaround job he engineered for his hometown team collapsed with a disappointing six-win season.
Del Rio said owner Mark Davis told him after the team's season-ending 30-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday that he would not be retained as coach in Oakland.
Del Rio had signed a four-year contract extension last February after Oakland ended a 13-year playoff drought with a 12-win season.
"He told me he loved me and appreciated all that I did, but felt like we weren't going in the right direction," Del Rio said.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) First, Chuck Pagano lost Andrew Luck.
Then the Indianapolis Colts started losing games.
And now it has cost him a job.
Six years after convincing Jim Irsay he could lead the Colts to a Super Bowl, and two years after convincing the team owner to give him a surprise contract extension, Pagano was fired Sunday less than two hours after the Colts' beat Houston 22-13 in their season finale.
The win ended a six-game losing streak but couldn't cloak the fact Indy missed the playoffs three consecutive years, the first time that's happened since a seven-year drought from 1988-94, or finished with its first losing record in six years.
BALTIMORE (AP) Marvin Lewis had just snagged a victory well worth celebrating, yet the focus of his postgame session had very little to do with X's and O's.
What everyone really wanted to know after Cincinnati's 31-27 win over Baltimore on Sunday was: Would this be the last game for Lewis as coach of the Bengals?
"I don't know that," Lewis said. "We'll see. There are decisions to be made. First, it would be ownership."
Though it has been rumored that Lewis is ready to walk away from the job after 15 seasons and 125 wins, he insisted that's not necessarily the case.
Lewis is scheduled to meet with owner Mike Brown, perhaps as soon as Monday, to discuss his future in Cincinnati.
"Yes, I want to coach this team," Lewis said.
TOKYO (AP) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the United States should be aware that his country's nuclear forces are now a reality, not a threat. But he also struck a conciliatory tone in his New Year's address, wishing success for the Winter Olympics set to begin in the South in February and suggesting the North may send a delegation to participate.
Kim, wearing a Western-style gray suit and tie, said in his customary annual address his country had achieved the historic feat of "completing" its nuclear forces and added he has a nuclear button on his desk.
Kim also called for improved relations with the South, an idea mentioned in speeches more often than it is met. He said the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics would be a good opportunity to showcase the status of the Korean nation. He said the North and South could meet urgently to discuss the North sending a delegation.
PHOENIX (AP) Philadelphia center Joel Embiid injured his right hand going after an inbounds pass late in the fourth quarter of the 76ers' 123-110 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
Embiid had X-rays taken and his hand wrapped in ice after the game, and said he thinks he will be fine.
"They said it wasn't broken. They think it was sprained, so I guess that's good news," Embiid said.
Embiid had 22 points and nine rebounds in 31 minutes Sunday. The play in which he was hurt happened with 3:54 left in the game, and he was called for a loose ball foul after hitting the floor.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is entering the NFL draft.
Barkley announced his decision to skip his senior year Sunday, a day after helping Penn State beat Washington in the Fiesta Bowl.
In a letter posted to his Instagram account, Barkley thanked Penn State fans, teammates and coaches and said he promised his parents and coach James Franklin that he would return to complete his journalism degree.