Jon Gruden has been out of coaching for ten years, but, after years of speculation, debate, and the now-infamous #GRUMORS, Chucky is coming back for real, and he’s getting a massive payday.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Raiders are expected to announce Gruden as their new head coach on Jan. 9. His contract is rumored to be a record-breaking ten year deal, with a $10 million per year salary, meaning Gruden’s deal is worth a staggering $100 million.
Rumors and numerous reports began to swirl in the leadup to the Raiders’ final game of the season that the organization’s brass were negotiating to bring Gruden back. Head coach Jack Del Rio announced that his contract was terminated during the press conference following the team’s 30-10 loss to the LA Chargers. That all but confirmed that Gruden was coming back.
Gruden served as the head coach of the Raiders from 1998-2001 until he was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the Bucs’ 2002 and 2003 first-round draft pick, their 2002 and 2004 second round picks, and eight million dollars. Gruden reportedly wasn’t happy about leaving Oakland, but he quickly took his new squad and won Super Bowl XXXVII in his first season. After the Super Bowl XXXVII victory, the Buccaneers never made it past the Wild Card round under Gruden’s leadership. He was fired after the end of the 2008 season.
The coach almost immediately transitioned into his role as color commentator and draft analyst for Monday Night Football and ESPN, respectively. Gruden’s colorful personality and pointed analysis of games endeared him to fans all over the NFL.
Ever since, numerous rumors have surfaced that Gruden would be returning to coach, with these whispers being branded #GRUMORS. He seemed to only be willing to return either to Oakland or Tampa Bay though, according to numerous reports over the years.
Gruden has a reputation as a quarterback guru, and a strong argument can be, and has been, made that Derek Carr is the best QB Gruden has ever been able to work with for a long period of time, and that he could finally unlock Carr’s true potential. However, many pundits and fans are concerned about the hire, mainly due to the enormity of the deal and the fact that Gruden hasn’t coached in 10 years in any capacity.
Time will tell how it goes, but Jon Gruden is now all but officially back in the saddle.