Considering the ungodly dumpster fire that was the 2017 Oakland Raiders season, drastic measures had to be taken to clean up what was a toxic mess thanks to locker room problems and a serious regression by key players.
Only days after head coach Jack Del Rio was shown the door, it is being reported that former Raiders coach turned Monday Night Football personality Jon Gruden has been wooed back to lead the silver and black.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter has broken the new that Gruden will sign a ten-year deal worth $100 million and possible an ownership stake in the team.
Raiders: “We’d like you to come coach the team.”
Jon Gruden: “I haven’t coached in 10 years, and I like it at ESPN.”
Raiders: “You said you wanted a 10 year contract? Works for us.”
Gruden: “No I said…”
Raiders: “How’s 100 Million dollars sound?”
— NOTSportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) January 5, 2018
The Oakland Raiders will sign Jon Gruden to the longest coaching deal in NFL history — a 10-year deal likely approaching $100 million — when it is made official Tuesday, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday.
The Raiders have called a significant news conference for Tuesday, at which time they will introduce Gruden as the team’s next coach, a league source confirmed to ESPN.
Gruden, who coached Oakland from 1998 to 2001 and has been working as an ESPN analyst, is returning to the Raiders to replace Jack Del Rio, who was fired after the regular-season finale on Sunday.
ESPN reported Saturday that Raiders owner Mark Davis was prepared to pursue Gruden with a strong offer that could include an ownership stake in the team, which would have to be approved by NFL owners.
In four years of coaching the Raiders, Gruden had a 38-26 record but failed to lead the team to the Super Bowl. A falling out with legendary owner Al Davis ended up with Gruden being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he took over Tony Dungy’s underachieving team and led them to the Super Bowl XXXVII which thumped the Raiders.
It was Gruden’s ultimate revenge.
He was never able to replicate his success and after seven years in Tampa was fired. Despite his reputation as an offensive genius, Gruden was unable to develop a young quarterback with the Bucs.
Ironically, it was Tampa Bay that was wooing him as the miracle worker who could transform Jameis Winston’s raw talent into a perennial all-pro quarterback but considering the putrid ownership of the Bucs and their tendency to fire coaches every two years, he wisely chose to take the money and run to Oakland.
The Raiders will be relocating to Las Vegas as soon as 2019 and Gruden will be the biggest thing to hit sin city since old blue eyes.
Detractors will point out that Gruden has been away from the game for an extended period of time but Dick Vermeil also returned to the NFL after manning the broadcast booth for years and had great success, including winning a Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams.