The Oakland Raiders are preparing to pursue television analyst and former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, according to ESPN. If it appears to be a done deal, there's a chance that any potential minority candidates would decline to sit for the job.
Gruden, 54, coached the Raiders to a 38-26 record over four seasons before being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by Al Davis in 2001.
Jack Del Rio, who signed a contract extension last summer, is in trouble as the Raiders (6-9) have been the biggest disappointment in the AFC this season. Rightfully so, as there hasn't been a sexier head coaching candidate in the last few years than Gruden - a Super Bowl victor with a throwback personality that fans gravitate towards.
During a 6-10 finish in 2017 that resulted in a third-place finish in the AFC West, the Raiders struggled under offensive coordinator Todd Downing, fueled by a mediocre passing attack and a ground game that lingered near the bottom of the National Football League rankings all season despite the Raiders' big-money commitments to offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele, Gabe Jackson and Donald Penn.
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So much in fact that they're willing to make it rain loads of dollars to bring him back. Yeah, sometimes owners. Guys want to bounce ideas off me.
Indeed, hiring Gruden would feel like a panic move for a team that won 12 games just one season ago and isn't that far off from a return to prominence if the proper steps are taken with the roster and assistant coaching staff. The ESPN report states that the Raiders could even offer Gruden ownership stake in the team as a means to entice him to accept the role. He has been ESPN's color commentator for Monday Night Football since the 2009 NFL season.
Coincidentally, Gannon will be calling the Raiders-Chargers game on Sunday. After making the playoffs previous year, many expected the team to take a big step forward.
Oakland's top brass must be growing frustrated of Del Rio's performance with the Raiders not making the playoffs for the second time in three years under Del Rio.
Gruden will have not been in the professional coaching ranks in almost a full decade by the time next season rolls around.