If Jon Gruden returns to NFL, expect it to likely be with Raiders or Falcons
Despite being out of the NFL, Jon Gruden remains the hottest name going around the coaching carousel. Jason La Canfora reports that if Gruden returns there's a good chance it's with the Raiders or Falcons.
For more news and notes from Jason La Canfora, tune into The NFL Today Sunday at noon ET on CBS.
Gruden coached previously in Oakland and retains strong ties there and landing him would be a major coup for the Raiders. A year ago, with Allen and McKenzie in their first years on the job, it would have been even more financially restrictive to sweep out a regime and usher in a new one, let alone a staff as highly compensated as Gruden’s would be. That’s lessened some, one year later, and several sources who know Gruden well believe he is more inclined now than ever to return to the sidelines after rebuffing repeated overtures in the past.
The Falcons would also be a situation that could appeal to Gruden. They have a quarterback and no shortage of offensive weapons in place. They have been a contender in recent years and if they do let go of coach Mike Smith, owner Arthur Blank is likely to seek a very high-profile replacement. Blank has quietly interviewed big-name coaches in the past for his openings but ended up going with more nondescript options. But sources said with him getting a new stadium built and with his fan base fickle in the past and his team falling well below expectations this season, everything would be aligned for him to seek a more proven commodity to try to get his franchise to a Super Bowl, should Smith be fired.
Money is no object to Blank, Atlanta is close to Gruden’s Orlando home (especially via private jet), and Gruden already coached in the division previously. While most of the probably head coaching openings wouldn’t make much sense for him, these two certainly would.
Plus Broncos and Chargers help their QBs while Raiders gamble big in our AFC West grades
Texans pin hopes to Watson, new Jaguars must focus and Titans help Mariota in our AFC South...
Ravens get upside, Bengals go boom or bust and Steelers bank on names, but hail the Browns
Plus the Bills grab multiple starters and Jets add talent but may still struggle in our AFC...
A little more than 29 percent of early declarees went undrafted, a small raise from recent...
No teams did bad enough to earn an 'F,' and give credit where it's due to the 49ers(!) and...