Though he’s tried to play coy in regards to his contract, there were multiple reports at the time Jon Gruden agreed to once again coach the Oakland Raiders that he’d agreed to a 10-year, $100 million pact with team owner Mark Davis, the largest known contract ever for an NFL head coach.
The deal may even be backloaded to take advantage of Nevada’s lack of income tax.
Gruden still doesn’t want to talk about his deal, but he will talk about someone else’s paychecks.
The NFL’s newest beef?
NBC Sports’ Peter King spoke with Gruden at the Raiders’ Napa, California, training camp, and the interview is the lead item in this week’s “Football Morning in America.”
When King asks about Gruden’s contract, he uses it as a chance to take a swipe at one of the biggest box-office draws of the last 30 years.
“I’m not making $100 million, just so you know,” Gruden began, then spent the rest of the answer seemingly confirming that he is, in fact, signed for $100 million.
“Well, I never thought Tom Cruise, never thought his movies were any good but he’s making plenty of money. There’s a lot of things that I don’t understand. No disrespect to Tom Cruise. I’m sure he’s a great actor,” Gruden said. “But you know what? You just go about your life as hard as you can. You try to find something you love and you do the best you can at it. I never got into coaching for the money. I got into coaching because I wanted to be a quarterback coach. What the salary cap has become, what free agency has become—it’s amazing.”
So we guess Gruden won’t be taking his team to the “Top Gun” reboot next year …
‘Are the rules better?’
Gruden apparently also isn’t a big fan of the current NFL collective bargaining agreement, which was ratified in 2011. One of the biggest things the CBA did was limit practices and the amount of time players are in full pads.
Asked about changes in the game since he last coached, in 2008, Gruden said, “I don’t like what we’ve done to the profession, personally. I don’t like the CBA. I don’t like regulating hard work.
“By god, if a guy wants to come here in April and learn his plays? Wants to go out there and watch tape with me? I think he ought to be able to do that. He wants to come in and use our billion dollar facility? He ought to be able to use that. Really disappoints me to no end. For players, this is their time in life to make a team, make a profession, make some money, have some fun. I don’t like it. Are the rules better, or are they just more rules?”
Does Gruden like instant replay?
Nope, not that either.
The last game Gruden coached in his first stint with the Raiders was the 2001 Divisional round loss to New England, the infamous Tuck Rule game.
All these years later, Gruden still hates the call, which wiped a strip-sack off the board that might have clinched the game for Oakland.
“That’s probably a big reason I’m never going to be a fan of instant replay,” Gruden said. “Instant replay was [meant] to correct an obvious wrong. I don’t know how they worded it. But they shouldn’t have overturned that play. That’s a complete joke. Where’s the tuck rule today, Peter? It’s not even in the game. When you overturn a play for a rule like that, that’s no way to lose a game. Especially a playoff game.
“It is what it is, as they say today.”
Gruden does seem to like Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, whom he says has more talent than anyone he’s ever coached.
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