The Raiders are set to make a serious offer to Jon Gruden in hopes he returns to coach the team, ESPN reported Saturday.
Gruden has been an offered an ownership stake in the team as enticement, the report said. "I donít want to sit here and speculate," Gruden told the network he works for. "There is no news. Ö I canít say I havenít taken any phone calls. I take a lot Ö from coaches, some others, yeah, sometimes owners. Guys want to bounce ideas off me. Iím here to help people."
Raiders coach Jack Del Rio was given an extension after the 2016 season that was believed to pay him at least $5 million per season over the next four seasons.
Gruden was hired by Al Davis to coach the Raiders from 1998 through 2001. After a loss to New England in an AFC division playoff game, Gruden was traded to the Bucs for two first-round picks, two second-round picks and $8 million. The Raiders then won the AFC championship under Bill Callahan but were routed by Grudenís Bucs in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Gruden, 54, has been reluctant to return to the NFL in part because of his high-paying job with ESPN on Monday Night Football and because he has been vocal in his distaste for NFLPA-mandated restrictions on practice and training time. He has frequently been rumored to fill coaching vacancies, pro and college, since his firing by Tampa Bay after the 2008 season.
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