Raiders pursuing Jon Gruden with offer of potential ownership stake
The Oakland Raiders seem to be pulling all the stops in their attempt to extricate Jon Gruden from the broadcast booth and put him on the sidelines coaching again.
The Raiders still have Jack Del Rio handling the team, but according to a report from Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Oakland management is planning to take an aggressive approach in trying to lure the team’s former coach back to taking care of business on the sidelines again. How aggressive? Let’s just say that the Raiders intend to offer Gruden an ownership stake in the franchise.
Here’s more from the report.
But Oakland long has appealed to Gruden, for a variety of reasons: He would return to an organization he didn’t want to leave in 2001; he would inherit a young quarterback in Derek Carr whom he feels strongly about; and he would get to coach a team that is slated to move in 2020 to Las Vegas, where he would not have to pay state tax, as he does now in Florida, where he currently lives. Gruden’s contract even could be backloaded to pay him more in the Nevada years of the deal and lessen his tax burden during the California years.
Gruden coached Oakland for four seasons from 1998 to 2001, finishing his stint with the team with a 38-26-0 regular season record and a 5-4 slate in the playoffs. Under Gruden, the Raiders managed to reach the AFC Championship Game in 2001, though they lost to the Baltimore Ravens. The following year, the Raiders would get back in the playoffs, but would strike out in the Divisional Round at the hands of the New England Patriots.
Despite the rumors linking Gruden to a Raiders’ coaching job, the current ESPN analyst refuses to say much to address the news.
“I don’t want to sit here and speculate. … There is no news to report,” Gruden said Saturday. “I can’t say I haven’t taken any phone calls. I take a lot every year from coaches, some others. … Yeah, sometimes owners. Guys want to bounce ideas off me. I’m here to help people.”
Oakland’s top brass must be growing frustrated of Del Rio’s performance with the Raiders not making the playoffs for the second time in three years under Del Rio.
It’s going to be an interesting offseason for the Raiders for sure.