Published: Wed, January 03, 2018
Medical | By Jackie Banks

Oakland Raiders fire Jack Del Rio, clearing way for Jon Gruden's return

Oakland Raiders fire Jack Del Rio, clearing way for Jon Gruden's return

When asked directly if he was a candidate, Gruden said, "Well, I think I am being considered, yes". But, that doesn't look like it's going to stop the Oakland Raiders from potentially giving him too much.

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Gruden spent four seasons as coach in Oakland from 1998-2001. The Raiders are being cautious about the timing of hiring Gruden, as they have to satisfy the Rooney Rule and make it seem like they interviewed other candidates in the wake of Jack Del Rio's firing.

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While the deal is not official yet, Schefter, along with Chris Mortensen, reported earlier on Sunday that the Raiders planned to aggressively pursue Gruden. He then went on to win the Super Bowl with the Bucs the very next year, beating Oakland in the process. If the rumors are accurate, it will be up to Gruden to recapture the magic which led to a 12-4 record a year ago. This year, he talked openly about a return to the sidelines and there was speculation - primarily wishful thinking from University of Tennessee fans - that he would leave ESPN to coach the Volunteers. ESPN still has one last National Football League game to broadcast this season, Saturday afternoon's wild-card clash between the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs.

Jack Del Rio, who signed a contract extension last summer, is in trouble as the Raiders (6-9) have been the biggest disappointment in the AFC this season.

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano responds to a question during a news conference following an NFL football practice, Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, in Indianapolis. Another wrinkle: The Raiders are set to move to Las Vegas in the next few seasons, though they will remain in California at least through 2018.

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