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Raiders up the ante for Gruden

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Oakland Raiders already have a head coach. But every indication is that the team will fire head coach Jake Del Rio despite giving him an extension this past offseason.

He signed a four-year extension with the Raiders this past February.

But with the Raiders regressing this season — due to a number of factors — have caused Raiders management to change their mind less than a year later. They are 6-9 this season — and are just playing out the rest of the season.

Barring a surprising win over the Los Angeles Chargers, they will finish the season with a 6-10 record. The Raiders have lost three straight games, including a 19-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas.

The Raiders are preparing like Del Rio will be fired following Sunday’s game. They want to pursue ESPN’s Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen.

There have been rumors that Gruden would return to coaching. However, none of them have actually happened, including this season when he was being considered for the Tennessee Volunteers head coaching job.

“Chunky,” as he is known, used to be the Raiders head coach. But he has not been an NFL Head Coach since being fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009.

Gruden was being mentioned as the new Buccaneers Head Coach after they fire Dirk Koetter just days ago. However, Buccaneers ownership put an end to those rumors, as they informed Koetter that he will be retained for a third season.

The Raiders, according to Schefter and Mortensen, are willing to give Gruden an ownership stake in the franchise. However, he will not make a decision until after Sunday’s game because the Raiders domino would have to fall first y firing Del Rio.

Del Rio ended the Raiders 13-year playoff drought last season. But they are showing him the door in their attempt to bring in a new head coach — whether it is Gruden or another coach.

The kicker in this proposal that is on the table by the Raiders is that the league’s 32 NFL owners would have to approve of it. In addition, Gruden may want power in the front office that may cause general manager Reggie McKenzie to have a lesser role or even leave.

Gruden was 38-26 in four seasons as the Raiders Head Coach. He was then shipped to the Buccaneers in a rare trade for an NFL Head Coach, before guiding the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win over the Raiders the following season.

Gruden is making $6.5 million as an analyst for Monday Night Football.

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