At a press conference on Tuesday, the Oakland Raiders will announce the hiring of Jon Gruden as the new head coach. On balance, those are twenty-words many never thought would find daylight. Gruden steps back into the coaching ranks after a decade off. During that time, he kept active by hosting Monday Night Football and various ESPN segments.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Raiders inked Gruden to a ten-year, $100 million dollar contract. By far, this agreement ranks as the most lucrative coaching contract in NFL history. Before the numbers release, Gruden began building his staff. Schefter also reports that Gruden’s assistants receive four-year deals. As a result, they will coach the final two seasons in Oakland and the first two in Las Vegas.
Earlier this morning, media speculated the potential volatility of the Gruden/ Carr relationship. Whether that problem surfaces remains unknown. What most understand is that Gruden will push Carr beyond his normal comfort level. Immediately, Gruden will put his immediate stamp all over the franchise.
With the hiring, speculation swirled that Reggie McKenzie’s role would diminish. ESPN’s Jim Trotter reported that McKenzie would maintain his power. In fact, he spurned an interview request with the Green Bay Packers. Gruden and McKenzie worked together in Green Bay. While those circumstances did not represent the high stake currently, it lays a communication foundation.
In reality, there is no honeymoon for Jon Gruden. With great financial windfall comes otherworldly expectation. If the Raiders do not win multiple Super Bowls, a segment of the fanbase will consider this tenure as a colossal waste of time and money. As Las Vegas looms, questions regarding the future of the Raiders still exist. Now, they have a head coach and front office rounding into shape. Time will tell if this is a marriage made in heaven or a place further south.