Jon Gruden returning as the Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders has been a dream since his trade in 2001. He has been the most elusive prospect for teams since leaving the league in 2009; his ties with the Raiders have made his return a very real possibility.
Jon Gruden To The Raiders Is A Real Possibility
Mark Davis is offering Gruden a deal that will be “difficult to refuse”. Since this deal possibly includes an ownership stake, the 32 owners will have to approve the move. This could be a roadblock for the Raiders, as other teams could decide to block the move if they think Gruden is a serious threat to bring a Super Bowl to the Raiders in the coming years.
Before his firing, Jack Del Rio signed a contract extension, now the Raiders could possibly be paying both Gruden and Del Rio in 2018. There may be offset language in the contract that will allow the Raiders to move on without having to pay Del Rio, but that isn’t known at this time.
This could be a massive hire, not only for the Raiders but for the entire league. It could possibly change how coaching hires are made in the future which is a scary possibility. Here are some “goods” and “bads” with this hire.
Gruden has a pretty cushy job with ESPN, but even the most casual football fan can tell this guy loves football and would bring the fire to the Raiders locker room for years I come. He will be able to lock up some of the best coaches with his name alone. People want to surround Gruden wherever he has gone, and the belief is that he will be able to put together one of the best coaching staffs in the league.
Derek Carr will thrive under Gruden. Rich Gannonwon the league MVP the year Gruden left, but the knowledge and coaching he gave Gannon was undeniably a major factor in his play that season. Derek Carr can regain his confidence and return to the 2016 version of himself, possibly even better.
From a business standpoint, the Raiders need to sell some high priced tickets when they move to Las Vegas. If the Gruden signing happens, it will get Raider Nation in a buzz immediately and those tickets and box suites will be an extremely sought after commodity. This is likely the reason why Davis will allow some ownership to leave his hands.
When the Raiders are good, it’s good for the league. When they are winning, you either love them, or you love to hate them. In the 2016 season, that juice was back around the league and people took notice. The league just felt better when they were winning football games.
If this deal falls through, Oakland will have let go of the man they just extended earlier this year for nothing. With the departure ofJack Del Rio, the Raiders have placed all their eggs in one very expensive basket.
Gruden’s return could also mean shake-ups in the front offices as well. Building a team that sees his vision could be what Gruden needs to leave the broadcast booth.
This could mean that Reggie McKenzie will not be retained as the GM, as Gruden will likely want to hire his own personal staff. Reggie has done a great job getting the Raiders out of cap hell and brought themKhalil Mack and Carr, two faces of the franchise. With Mack up for a new contract, Oakland better be sure a new GM can keep him a Raider.
Gruden’s passion for the game is undeniable, yet some think the game may have past him by. With the influx of young coaches making major statements, Gruden may be past his prime in the coaching arena.
The biggest “bad” that comes from this will be the precedent set for the rest of the NFL. With Davis offering ownership in the team, thoughts of collusion and shady behind-the-scenes moves will surface immediately. It also allows teams that are willing to give ownership to coaches a leg up on the coaching carousel for years to come.
This is a very savvy move by Davis if he is able to reel in Gruden. The majority of Raiders fans would love this hire and it will get The City buzzing much like the Marshawn Lynchsigning. The nostalgia of the Gruden hire will put fans in the seats, but will also need to lead to wins… Fast.