Jon Gruden sounds potentially interested in Giants coaching job, but with one catch

Whenever a coach gets fired in the NFL, it's almost guaranteed that Jon Gruden's name will come up as a possible candidate. Even though Gruden hasn't coached since 2008, his name is generally one of the first ones that's mentioned for pretty much any and all coaching vacancies anywhere in the country. 

After the Giants fired Ben McAdoo, it was only a matter of time before Gruden was asked about his interest in the job, and that's exactly what happened on Monday. 

Just hours after the firing, Gruden was asked if he would be interested in the job and he didn't exactly shoot it down. The question came during the Steelers-Bengals game, when Gruden was in the booth with Sean McDonough for ESPN's Monday Night Football

"The big topic of conversation ... Would Coach Gruden consider coming to the New York Giants?" McDonough said. "Your name comes up for every job."

Gruden then attempted to move the conversation forward by stiff-arming McDonough with a quick answer. 

"Don't believe half of that stuff you hear and read, Sean," Gruden said.

However, McDonough wasn't about to stop the conversation there, so he decided to ask a follow-up question.  

"Our producer saw somewhere the odds of you going to the Giants are [35-to-1]," McDonough said. "Would you take the over or the under on [35-to-1]?" 

That's when Gruden said he might actually be interested in the job, but with one catch: The Giants would have to keep Eli Manning

"I'll take the under on that if Eli comes back," Gruden said.

At 35-to-1 odds, it seems that even Gruden would bet on himself to take the Giants' job. 

The one interesting thing about Gruden is that he hasn't been so quick to shoot down the coaching rumors this year, which is a change from the past. For instance, in December 2016, Gruden was asked if he might return to the NFL and he was pretty clear with his answer, saying that he "had no intention of" returning to coaching. 

This time around, it seems like he's at least leaving the door slightly open. 

As for the Giants, if the one thing on Gruden's wish list is that Manning sticks around next season, it's starting to look like that's at least possible. After getting his starting job back on Wednesday, Manning sounded like he was ready to forgive and forget his benching, if that meant he could be a Giant for life. 

"I love to play quarterback and love playing quarterback for the New York Giants," Manning said, via quotes distributed by the team. "This is all I know, is playing for the New York Giants and I've never wished to change that. I appreciate everything the Giants organization has done for me and you have so much family in this building."

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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