Jon Gruden was hired to take over as head coach of the Oakland Raiders in January. And it’s easy to see why he was finally coerced out of the broadcast booth, considering that he received a $100 million contract for 10 years.
It’s unclear how much of the money is guaranteed. But like most NFL coaching contracts, Gruden will likely receive most of his deal regardless of how long his stint lasts.
Interestingly enough, though, Gruden recently stated that he’ll give the money back if the Raiders fail during his tenure. Let’s discuss this bold guarantee along with Oakland’s chances of succeeding under Gruden.
Gruden Hoping that Second Time is a Charm
The 54-year-old head coach will begin his second stint with the Raiders. His first tenure with a team lasted from 1998-2001, where he managed a 38-26 record over the four seasons. Gruden appears pretty confident that he can succeed where he failed the previous time.
The interview was brief, and the details of his guarantee aren’t exactly clear. For example, what will he consider “not getting it done?” Does he have to last the whole duration of the contract?
Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that John 3:16 wants to make sure everybody knows how serious he is about making Oakland a success. And if it takes putting tens of millions of dollars on the line, he’s willing to do so.
Raiders Likely on the Hook for a Big Salary Anyways
Again, one of the crucial details that’s missing from this story is how much guaranteed money Gruden is due. When asked about the matter, the long-time coach and broadcaster merely stated that he doesn’t even know if he’ll be alive to coach through the entire contract.
“Who guarantees I’m going to live 10 years?” said Gruden. “So I don’t think about that. You start thinking about a 10-year contract – people don’t know how it’s structured, and it doesn’t matter.”
NFL coaching is a grueling profession that can cut years off one’s life. But odds are that Gruden will live out the next 10 years. Whether or not this entire decade will be spent coaching the Raiders remains to be seen.
Furthermore, it’s difficult to see him giving up a ridiculous amount of guaranteed salary if he doesn’t succeed. Of course, Gruden can squash all of the speculation and wondering by simply winning right away.
This team is only two years removed from a 12-4 record and AFC West title. They had a strong shot to beat the Huston Texans in a 2016 AFC Wild Card matchup. But franchise quarterback Derek Carr got hurt at the end of the season and couldn’t play.
Last year was a disaster for the team as they finished 6-10 and came nowhere close to repeating their success from 2016. The 2017 campaign is what got the previous coach, Jack Del Rio, relieved of his duties.
Gruden will likely be given a few seasons to turn things around. And he’ll have a strong chance to do so when considering that Carr is back in the saddle and another year better.
2018 Raiders Odds to Win AFC West
Can Gruden expect a quick turnaround in 2018? It won’t be easy when considering that the Raiders play in one of the league’s toughest divisions. Here are the current AFC West odds, courtesy of GTBets:
- LA Chargers +140
- Kansas City +280
- Oakland +350
- Denver +400
The Raiders only have the third-best odds in what looks to be a very tight division race. Therefore, it makes sense that they have fairly long odds of winning both the AFC Championship (+1400) and Super Bowl (+2800).