Jon Gruden becoming the next head coach of the Oakland Raiders appears to be a matter of when, not if.
The Raiders informed Jack Del Rio on Sunday that they will not be bringing him back for 2018, which has led to speculation that Gruden has verbally agreed to take the job. Adam Schefter said on ESPN late Sunday night that Gruden is going to be the next coach of the Raiders, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network confirmed on Monday that that is the expectation.
According to Rapoport, the Raiders are being cautious with the timing of Gruden’s hiring both so they can “comply” with the Rooney Rule and so Gruden can remain in his broadcasting role with ESPN for the time being.
Rapoport notes that Gruden was close to becoming the coach of the Indianapolis Colts last year, but it never ended up happening. However, it would be a major surprise if the events unfolded the same way with Oakland.
The Raiders are reportedly willing to make a massive offer to Gruden that includes more than just a coach’s salary. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers set to bring back Dirk Koetter, it’s possible that Gruden planned to return to Oakland all along.