The Ballad of As Jon Gruden Coaching Rumors Turn is a neverending soap opera that will go round and round and round, seemingly till the end of time. Ever since joining ESPN, Chucky has been linked with almost every coaching vacancy in the NFL, college football, ahd major pee wee leagues.
Much was made of Gruden signing an "exclusive" five year extension with Bristol in 2011 that would keep him out of coaching for the foreseeable future.
"Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden has agreed to an exclusive agreement with ESPN that will keep him on sports television’s signature series and out of coaching for the next five years. The new contract begins in September 2012."
That "exclusive" contract seems to be as binding as a crayon covered napkin as it's done nothing to slow down coaching rumors for two years running. In October, Gruden had told a crowd at a speaking engagement that he wanted one more run at coaching. But just a couple weeks ago Gruden told ESPN colleague Chris Mortensen he was committed to at least one more year in the Monday Night Football booth.
What hpapened after that commitment? More Jon Gruden coaching rumors!
First, Chip Brown reported that Gruden would listen to Texas if the university came knocking at his door just five days ago...
Although Gruden has flourished in broadcasting with ESPN, our source said the Texas job is one of the few offers that Gruden would consider, claiming that the Super Bowl-winning coach views the position as one the few "premiere" coaching jobs.
"It's Austin," the source said of Gruden's interest. "It's not like any other city in Texas, or anywhere, really. It's a destination, but with the state capitol, the university, the politics and the media, it's the eye of a hurricane.
Then on Sunday, Jason La Canfora of CBS reported Gruden remains "intrigued" by returning to the Oakland Raiders...
"Back in November I reported that former Super Bowl winning coach Jon Gruden would be drawn to the possibility of coaching the Raiders or Falcons, and I continue to hear that Oakland in particular has a certain appeal to him and owner Mark Davis could re-start attempts to lure Gruden back.
Davis was in protracted talks to try to land Gruden late in the 2012 season, league sources said, and while the Raiders’ finances have been constrained, and it would take a massive commitment to land Gruden and his staff, it remains possible with young head coach Dennis Allen again under review and the Raiders still stuck on four wins. While many in the coaching fraternity frown on the Raiders' coaching situation, sources said Gruden, who formerly coached there, maintains a strong connection to the team and is very close with Raiders Hall of Fame coach John Madden. The idea of being the man to save the franchise and restore it to glory definitely carries a certain cache to Gruden, who is about to complete another season in the broadcast booth at ESPN."
Will Gruden coach the Raiders next year? Or Texas? Or the Houston Texans? Will he launch a Bachelor-style reality show where GMs and university presidents star as potential suitors? Will he leave football behind and try to climb Mount Everest or attempt to "find himself" in a wilderness journey to Alaska? At this point, anything is possible. I'll only believe Gruden will return to the Monday Night Football booth next season when we hear the first "this guy" of 2014.