Former Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone announced his decision to leave the team through a mass text sent Wednesday and he reportedly will pursue the New York Jets job, according to NFL insiders, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"Doug Marrone informed Bills players last night of his decision — after news broke — via a mass text. Said to call if they needed anything," tweeted NFL Network reporter Albert Breer.

In what some analysts have called a surprise move, Marrone opted out of his contract after leading the Bills to a 9-7 record in his second season with the club. Marrone was able to opt out of his Bills contract because of an ownership change.

Marrone was the Jets' offensive line coach for four years starting in 2002. After he opted out of his Bills contract, reports quickly spread that he will pursue the Jets' head coaching job that opened with the firing of Rex Ryan.

"We are disappointed that Coach Marrone will no longer be an important part of our organization," owner Terry Pegula said in a statement. "We thank him for all of his hard work and leadership during his tenure and wish him and his family the best with the next chapter in their lives."

Meanwhile, Jets owner Woody Johnson was heading to Seattle on Thursday night, along with consultants Ron Wolf and Charley Casserly, to meet this weekend with Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable for the Jets' vacant head coaching position.

49ers eye Shanahan

As the San Francisco 49ers approach the 20th anniversary of their last Super Bowl win, their coaching search soon will take them to Mike Shanahan, offensive coordinator of that 1994 team.

Shanahan, 62, will interview this week with the 49ers in Denver, where they will meet Friday with Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, the Denver Post reported.

Shanahan was out of the NFL last season after his four-season stint with Washington.

Lindley to start at QB

Carolina coach Bruce Arians says Ryan Lindley will start at quarterback for Arizona when the Cardinals play at Carolina in a wild-card playoff game Saturday.

Arians said after Thursday's practice that Drew Stanton will miss his third straight game with a sprained right knee. Stanton had the knee scoped last week after developing an infection.

Lindley, released by the Cardinals at the end of preseason, was signed off the San Diego practice squad after Carson Palmer went down with a season-ending knee injury against St. Louis on Nov. 9.

Lindley started the final two regular-season games, losses at Seattle and San Francisco.


• Bengals receiver A.J. Green worked out lightly on Thursday, a step toward being cleared for a first-round playoff game at Indianapolis. Green suffered a concussion Sunday night.

• Defensive tackle Nick Fairley took one significant step toward returning from his knee injury when he practiced with the Lions on Thursday. Fairley hasn't played since Oct. 26.

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