Every year, we hear rumors of teams trying to pry Jon Gruden out of the ESPN Monday Night Football booth and back on their sidelines but the Oakland Raiders are trying to put together a deal that even Gruden couldn’t refuse.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the offer from the Raiders is set to be so strong, it could include part ownership:
Oakland is preparing to pursue ESPN analyst Jon Gruden with an offer so strong it could even include an ownership stake in the Raiders, according to league sources.
Gruden will be tempted to accept it, according to sources, but would prefer not to make any decisions until the regular season finishes Sunday and the Raiders make a final determination on their current head coach, Jack Del Rio, who signed a contract extension last summer.
Raiders owner Mark Davis has offered Gruden an ownership stake in the past, according to sources, and if he were willing to do so again, the contract then would have to be approved by all 32 NFL owners. The NFL’s finance committee also would have to vet Gruden, but there is no reason to think it would not approve the deal.
Even if it didn’t for some unforeseen reason, Gruden’s contract could be negotiated in a way that would pay him a commensurate amount if fellow owners or the finance committee did not approve the deal.
Jon Gruden didn’t comment on the matter, saying:
“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.”
But Gruden continues to insist that it is nothing more than talk, as there has been talk in other years about his possible return that didn’t come to pass.
But this year does seem to be different. This year, there are many sources who believe the Raiders are preparing to make another offer so enticing that it will be difficult for Gruden to turn down.