- An ESPN report says the Oakland Raiders are planning to pursue Jon Gruden to bring him back as head coach.
- The deal is expected to be difficult to turn down and could include an ownership stake in the team.
- Owner Mark Davis was “coy” when asked about the potential deal.
- There would be a huge catch to such a deal as it would need to be approved by other owners and they may be reluctant to do so.
A surprise candidate has emerged as a potential destination for Jon Gruden’s seemingly inevitable return to coaching, but it probably should not have been a surprise at all – the Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders are planning to aggressively pursue Jon Gruden in an effort to bring him back as their head coach, according to Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN.
According to the report, Gruden would be “tempted to accept” the offer and that it could even include an ownership stake in the team.
“The Oakland Raiders are preparing to pursue ESPN analyst Jon Gruden with an offer so strong it could even include an ownership stake in the team, according to league sources,” Schefter and Mortensen wrote. “Gruden will be tempted to accept it, according to sources, but would prefer not to make any decisions until the regular season finishes Sunday.”
If the Raiders do offer Gruden an ownership stake, there is a huge catch – it must be approved by other NFL owners and there is a good reason to think they would be reluctant to do so.
One ownership source told ESPN that the owners “might not be so quick to approve the deal” because they wouldn’t want to set a precedent. According to Schefter and Mortensen, the deal could be structured in a way that would compensate Gruden if the ownership portion were not approved.
The report mentioned that Gruden would prefer to wait until the Raiders have made a final decision on their current head coach, Jack Del Rio. The Raiders were a popular preseason pick to be a contender in the AFC, but have fallen to 6-9. In addition, fourth-year quarterback Derek Carr, who looked like an emerging star a year ago, has regressed this season in every meaningful statistical category.
Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area asked Raiders owner Mark Davis about the report. According to Bair, Davis was “coy” when asked about Gruden.
“Just ran into Raiders owner Mark Davis,” Bair wrote on Twitter. “Asked directly about about ESPN report re: interest in Jon Gruden. He played coy. Said focus is on winning next game. Asked about Del Rio’s job status. Wouldn’t touch it. Asked again about Gruden report: ‘these rumors come about every year'”