Mike Silver of the NFL Network reports that Raiders owner Mark Davis is prepared to spend “a lot of money” to lure Jon Gruden back to the Raiders.
According to Silver, an “emotional connection” still exists between Gruden and the Raiders. Source have told Silver that “there have been overtures, even before this, to Jon Gruden — that Mark Davis is prepared to spend a lot of money, because that’s what it would take to pry Jon out of the booth and back to Oakland.”
Davis didn’t rule out the idea of pursing Gruden after the 2014 season during Tuesday’s press conference to announce that Tony Sparano has been promoted to interim head coach.
“I don’t know,” Davis said. “He may reach out to me, I may reach out to him — I may reach out to anybody. I’m not going to talk about future coaches.”
Jason La Canfora reports that Davis has been pursuing Gruden for sometime now and has offered him both money and organization power to return to Oakland. However, La Canfora mentions that Gruden is concerned about the team’s stadium plan and how they’ll compete financially.
Tim Kawakami of Mercury News expects the Raiders to make a “hard run” at hiring Jon Gruden as their next head coach.
Ian Rapoport also suggests that the Raiders were likely to set their sights on Gruden before targeting different “superstar” head coaching candidate.
“Of course, all eyes turn to Jon Gruden. We know he is close with Raiders owner Mark Davis,” Rapoport said Monday night. “That would be, from what I understand, the first look from the Oakland Raiders.”
According to Kawakami, Gruden has always been Raiders owner Mark Davis’ No. 1 choice to run the organization. Davis reportedly wanted to hire Gruden last year and he might have even received some “semi-positive murmuring” from Gruden about possibly returning to Oakland.
Kawakami admits that Gruden has shown at least some interest in a number of previous opportunities, but has elected to remain with ESPN as their color analyst on “Monday Night Football.”
The Raiders reportedly intend to keep Reggie McKenzie in place as their general manager and decide on an interim head coach at some point on Tuesday.
However, Kawakami believes Oakland would need to have the right general manager in place to convince Gruden to return to the NFL and he doesn’t see McKenzie as the right guy.
Gruden continues to be a popular head coaching candidate connected to almost every available job during the offseason. He previously coached the Raiders from 1998 – 2000 before he was traded to the Buccaneers for Tampa Bay’s 2002 and 2003 first-round picks, 2002 and 2004 second-round draft picks, and $8 million in cash.
As fate would have it, Gruden would end up coaching against the Raiders the following year in Super Bowl XXXVII, which the Buccaneers won 48-21.
We’ll have more regarding the Raiders head coaching situation as the news is available.