ESPN hired Jon Gruden in 2009 to replace Tony Kornheiser in the Monday Night Football booth. Since that time, Bristol has stood behind Chucky as their next superstar analyst in a big way. This year, Gruden's former partner Ron Jaworski was nudged back to the studio to make MNF Gruden's booth. The former Raiders and Bucs coach has also called bowl games, appeared on the high-profile NFL Draft set, and hosted several of his own QB specials. ESPN has invested more in Jon Gruden than arguably anyone else at the network in the past couple years, including Erin Andrews and Michelle Beadle, who both left this year.
A year ago, ESPN announced Jon Gruden was staying with the network and not returning to coaching for the next five years thanks to an exclusive contract extension:
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.
In a recent interview with Real Sports though, Gruden sounds much less certain than his employer over that agreement saying while he's turned down several opportunities to get back into coaching, he would return under the right circumstances. When pressed by Bryant Gumbel, Gruden said he would come back for the right opportunity via Tampa Bay Online:no comments