Raiders fire Jack Del Rio, one report says Jon Gruden 'going to be' next Raiders coach

The Raiders decided to fire Jack Del Rio following the team's 30-10 loss to the Chargers, Del Rio said in his postgame press conference. 

Del Rio, in his third year running the Raiders, saw the team take a massive step back after a 12-win season in 2016. Derek Carr suffered an injury, the whole team basically regressed and the defense did not get any better.

"We appreciate Jack's effort in building the foundation of this team for the future. Thank you to Jack, his wife, Linda, and his daughter, Aubrey, for their important contributions to the Raiders and our local community in Oakland. We wish them all the best," Raiders owner Mark Davis said in a statement announcing the news.

There's also the elephant in the room: Jon Gruden.

The ESPN broadcaster has long been rumored to have an interest in returning to coach somewhere in the NFL, but it has been mostly smoke and no fire. 

Make no mistake about it, the decision to fire Del Rio is strictly about trying to convince Gruden to make a return to Oakland, where he coached before being traded to the Buccaneers. Adam Schefter of ESPN, who is a colleague of Gruden's, reported on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt that Gruden "is going to be the next coach of the Oakland Raiders."

These Gruden rumors have been lurking for months, weeks and years, with Gruden connected to both the Buccaneers and the Raiders in recent weeks.

A report on Sunday indicated the Raiders would be willing to offer as much as an ownership stake when it came to convincing Gruden to come back. Gruden shrugged off the rumors as much as Gruden ever does, but did not flat-out refute them.

These GRUMORS are not merely chatter anymore. This is a real situation to monitor, with the Raiders desperate to land Gruden after canning Del Rio and hoping that the one-time Super Bowl winner can reinvigorate the Raiders as they head to Las Vegas. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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