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Browns, Gruden deny report of Vols job offer, Browns ownership stake

By Ryan Wilson |
Gruden says he's happy to be doing Monday Night Football (US Presswire)

A report that Monday Night Football color analyst Jon Gruden could have an ownership stake in the Browns as part of a deal that would have him be the next coach of the Tennessee Volunteers isn't true, the Browns said in a statement released Wednesday morning.

“(Browns owner) Jimmy Haslam has no involvement in the University of Tennessee head coaching search, and the report that Jon Gruden would potentially have an ownership stake in the Browns is completely erroneous,” a Browns spokesman said.

Late Tuesday night, WREG-TV in Memphis reported that Gruden has a contract offer from the Vols and part of the offer included "getting a piece of the NFL's Cleveland Browns, who were recently bought by Jimmy Haslam III, one of UT's biggest boosters." The connection: new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam went to Tennessee, he remains a booster, and his brother is governor of the state.

Gruden also denies the report, telling ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning (via PFT) that "no, there isn't" any truth to the rumors.

I'm just excited about Monday Night Football,” Gruden continued. “I like what I'm doing. I'm just trying to hang on to the job that I have."

So that ends that, right? Maybe not.'s Mike Freeman tweeted this Wednesday morning:

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to the Pick-6 Podcast on iTunes. You can follow Ryan Wilson on Twitter here: @ryanwilson_07.

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