The Oakland Raiders really, really, really wanted Jon Gruden to be their next head coach. They made sure to make it worth his while.
The Raiders – Jon Gruden rumors have been swirling for awhile now. Five days ago the team fired head coach Jack Del Rio at the end of a disappointing 6-10 season that saw Oakland miss the playoffs and finish third in the AFC West. Earlier in the day it was reported that Gruden was a done deal and would officially be introduced at a press conference on Tuesday.
Then, a few minutes later, ESPN’s Adam Schefter dropped some details on exactly how big this done deal was. The answer is “historically enormous.”
Gruden, who has been out of coaching and working in broadcasting for the past decade, will be receiving the longest head-coaching contract in NFL history and one that will reach into nine-figures. Yowza.
Despite being out of the game for so long, Gruden has stayed on the radar of many teams as a prime head-coaching candidate. He previously spent four years coaching the Raiders, finishing with a 36-26 record, before spending seven years with the Buccaneers, amassing a 57-55 record and winning the Super Bowl XXVII (over the Raiders).
One big question, with the Raiders publicly focusing on Gruden so early, was whether the team had complied with Rooney Rule, requiring the interviewing of minority candidates for the position. According to ESPN’s reporting, the NFL has certified the hire and that Oakland did comply with the rule.
“We believe the Rooney Rule was complied with. Minority candidates were interviewed,” NFL executive vice president of communications Joe Lockhart said during a conference call Friday. “We’ll see what decision they make.”
Gruden inherits a team with some talent but there’s plenty of work ahead in rebuilding this franchise to it’s previous glory.