Timbers acquire central defender Julio Cascante — The Portland Timbers have acquired central defender Julio Cascante from Costa Rica’s first-division Deportiva Saprissa. The Timbers used targeted allocation money for the transfer, which is pending approval of his visa and other documentation. Cascante, who is from Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, has played in 107 matches with 93 starts since his professional debut in his native country in 2011. Cascante’s career started with Orion FC before three seasons with C.F. Universidad de Costa Rica. He joined Saprissa in advance of the 2016 season, making 51 league appearances. He also started in three CONCACAF Champions League matches, including a pair against the Timbers.
Gruden says: ‘I hope I’m a candidate’ for Raiders job — Jon Gruden hopes he’s a candidate to return for a second stint as coach of the Oakland Raiders and believes a final decision will be made next week. Gruden made his most specific comments about the opening in Oakland in an interview Tuesday with the Bay Area News Group. The Raiders fired coach Jack Del Rio on Sunday following a disappointing six-win season. When asked specifically if he was a candidate, Gruden replied: “Well, I think I am being considered, yes. I hope I’m a candidate.” The Raiders are not commenting on the search beyond a statement issued Sunday night from owner Mark Davis thanking Del Rio for his tenure.
Bengals give coach Marvin Lewis 2-year extension — Coach Marvin Lewis got a two-year contract extension Tuesday, providing him yet two more chances to try to get the Cincinnati Bengals the playoff victory that has eluded him for 15 seasons. The agreement came after a second straight losing season and two days of discussions with owner Mike Brown. Lewis has the second-longest active coaching tenure in the NFL, behind Bill Belichick’s 18 seasons with New England. Unlike Belichick, who has won five Super Bowls and made two other appearances in the title game, Lewis is 0-7 in the playoffs, the worst coaching record in NFL history. The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990 season, the sixth-longest streak of futility in league history.
Carson Palmer retires after 15 NFL seasons — Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer is retiring after 15 NFL seasons. Palmer, who turned 38 last week, made the announcement in an open letter released Tuesday by the Cardinals. Palmer missed the last nine games of what would be his final season with a broken left arm. He called his long professional career “the most incredible experience of my life.” The statement came one day after Cardinals coach Bruce Arians announced his retirement. Arians and Palmer spent the last five seasons together. Palmer was a Heisman Trophy winner at USC and the No. 1-overall pick by Cincinnati in 2002. He threw for 46,247 yards, 12th-most in NFL history, in a career with the Bengals, Oakland and Arizona.
— From wire reports