After 17 years apart, the Oakland Raiders hired Jon Gruden as their new head coach. Gruden settled on a 10-year, $100 million deal. According to ESPN Staff Writer Bill Barnwell, this deal represents the richest contract in the history of NFL coaches.
Gruden started his head coaching career in 1998 at the Oakland Raiders where he coached for four seasons. He was then traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he coached from 2002 to 2008. He spent the next decade calling games for ESPN on Monday Night Football.
The Hire Wasn’t Easy
The Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis has been trying to pair Jon Gruden with general manager Reggie McKenzie since taking over the franchise in 2011. According to ESPN, Davis says he got close four times to getting Gruden to return since 2011. However, Gruden chose to stay at ESPN for Monday Night Football.
Davis spoke with Gruden on Christmas Eve in Philadelphia, the night before the Raiders played the Eagles. After the Raiders lost their fourth straight game against the Los Angeles Chargers finishing their season 6-10, Davis immediately fired Jack Del Rio.
Gruden Has High Hopes
With the Raiders bad finish this season, Gruden is looking to work and solve the problems the Raiders had. However, Gruden knows he can’t solve them all in one day. He is going to come up with a plan to build this football team back.
By doing this, Gruden is hoping to get the Raiders back on track for next season.
This plan will include looking at the roster carefully. Gruden says there are a lot of things that still need to be determined.
Gruden has already hired a new offensive coordinator, Greg Olsen, a defensive coordinator, Paul Guenther, and a special-teams coordinator, Rich Bisaccia. And on top of that, Gruden’s son, Deuce Gruden, is leaving his job with the Washington Redskins to join his father in Oakland, according to the San Jose Mercury News.