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Report: Gruden Reneged On NFL Network Deal

Well, ESPN has now hired two new broadcasters who reneged on verbal deals with other networks.
Last month, we reported that Matt Millen had a verbal deal with NBC before jumping to ESPN.  (ESPN spokesman Bill Hofheimer later denied that ESPN had knowledge of any deal between Millen and NBC, and we didn’t get around to posting on that before the shelf life on the story had expired.)
Now, Peter King of SI.com reports that Jon Gruden had verbally agreed to work for NFLN, as the color commentator for the league-owned network’s in-house slate of games.
Per King, the two sides had finalized “everything but the signature on the paper.”  
Then Gruden took a job with ESPN.
And so NFLN chief Steve Bornstein reportedly is furious with Gruden, and presumably with ESPN, which stealthily swooped in to nab Gruden once ESPN realized that the guy who looked like Beavis with the “bighead” camera feature could be swapped for Beavis’ alter ego, Kornholio.
Our guess?  Agent Bob LaMonte intentionally and deliberately (and discreetly) shopped the NFLN offer to ESPN, which knew that everything needed to be kept on the down low.  As the saying goes, it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission, and ESPN likely now has some work to do to repair its relationship with the league. 
Meanwhile, our old friend Steve Duemig of WDAE in Tampa, a well-known Gruden critic, has unloaded on the former Bucs coach via Twitter:  “Now people should believe what I’ve been saying about that a-hole all along,” Duemig says.

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45 Responses to “Report: Gruden Reneged On NFL Network Deal”
  1. Kool Herc says: May 19, 2009 12:02 PM

    I find it hard to believe that Duemig wouldn’t jump ship to ESPN radio from WDAE if he had the choice under a similar circumstance

  2. minton75 says: May 19, 2009 12:02 PM

    I’m really suprised that Duemig can stop drinking and driving long enough to say much of anything. Florio if that Jim Rome wanna be douche is the kind of people you keep as friends then you really need to reconsider your friends.

  3. Roachk1lla says: May 19, 2009 12:03 PM

    I listen to FSR everyweekend, and while Derrick Deese is loud and obnoxious sometimes. I respect his opinion and he doesnt have anything good to say about Gruden. He is far from the only player too.

  4. CalicoJack says: May 19, 2009 12:06 PM

    Reneged on an unsigned deal? Really?
    We already know Gruden will be better than him in Douchemug’s own profession!

  5. 4thFloor says: May 19, 2009 12:06 PM

    ESPN = Evil Empire
    I am still trying to imagine Adam Schefter over there. I guess he wants to be the next irrelevant talking head……….

  6. Bob S. says: May 19, 2009 12:07 PM

    I believe it for Gruden. On draft day NFLN gave Gruden so much air time and he was the most knowlegeable and quite frankly their most impressive announcer during their coverage.

  7. gameday says: May 19, 2009 12:09 PM

    Should have gotten the signature. Nothing is a done deal till the pen hits the paper. Just ask Jerry McGuire.

  8. CLHEINZ57 says: May 19, 2009 12:20 PM

    Cant spell Duemig without DUI. He is such a douche bag…

  9. CapsLockKey says: May 19, 2009 12:22 PM

    I guess ESPN finally realized that their HR department sucks at finding celebrity talent themselves (Emmitt Smith, Rush Limbaugh, etc) that they are better off poaching other networks’ soon to be hires.

  10. TheCoop says: May 19, 2009 12:29 PM

    Wow, who to side with?? Fat Peter King who is right about 5% of the time, or those God-less souls at the 4-letter.
    I feel dirty just reading this story.

  11. fatalfact says: May 19, 2009 12:33 PM

    I have really enjoyed what NFL network has been doing with their on air “talent” the past year and losing schefter really pissed me off.

  12. Greig says: May 19, 2009 12:33 PM

    Was Dumbdog drunk when he said that, it will be a shocker if he wasn’t.
    As for Roachk1lla, there are plenty of players that like Gruden too. Nobody is gonna be liked by everyone but it’s always the negative ones who get heard because while thye might be fewer they bitch and moan loader about any “injustice” done to them

  13. footballnut says: May 19, 2009 12:36 PM

    In my world of employee offer letters, contracts, etc. it’s not a deal until the signature is on the document…
    He didn’t renege if he didn’t sign.
    NFLN should’ve asked for a deadline for him to sign as this is what happens if you let it linger too long…

  14. kayC says: May 19, 2009 12:37 PM

    Meh. Not the nicest thing to do, but I can’t blame Gruden for preferring the MNF gig over whatever he would have been doing at NFLN.

  15. BigEd1340am says: May 19, 2009 12:39 PM

    Douchmig still has his hand down Keyshawn’s pants because he believes he was never a cancer in the locker room…if he would only listen to the audio I sent him…but then again the “Douch” in never wrong, Clayton never drops passes,…oops sorry Chris Landry….oops sorry the Ven made you sell your share…sorry I’m kicking their ass on Sat night at the Ny!!!

  16. Favre2012 says: May 19, 2009 12:39 PM

    OMG, Gruden would rather do 16 games than, what, the four or so that NFLN has?
    AND contracts need to be written out to make things official?!
    HUGE surprise.
    NFLN is amateur hour, which is disappointing but true.

  17. ROMO4PRES says: May 19, 2009 12:50 PM

    In business, the sale’s not closed until the deal is signed.

  18. Florida Funk says: May 19, 2009 12:51 PM

    Not that big a deal, Gruden pulled the ‘ol bait and switch. He’s a pro at that…..just some of his former players.
    What’s wrong with having 2 organizations battling for your services? Isn’t that what free agency/capitalism is all about? I guess only players can excercise that right. I mean it’s not like the Bucs are paying him millions and millions of dollars not to coach the next 2 years.
    Look at Duemig gettin a shout out on PFT. The ever lasting know it all of Tampa Bay sports is now legitimized on a sports blog via the world wide web……for his twittering.
    NOW THAT’S BIG TIME BABY

  19. Jolly says: May 19, 2009 1:04 PM

    @Favre….Who said: “NFLN is amateur hour, which is disappointing but true.”
    I guarantee you do not have NFLN. If it’s Amateur hr why is ESPN trying to poach their talent? I remember DP asking Marshall Faulk blunty if he’d not rather be on ESPN and Faulk lashing out at him sternly….ESPN wishes they had the talent of NFLN.
    They may not have the content, but the quality is better.
    I really am not sure who would say that a Football man should rather work at ESPN. ESPN is NOT greater than the NFL!!

  20. zertrat says: May 19, 2009 1:08 PM

    Poor Doomig. He’s a nobody and Gruden is a Superbowl-winning coach and MNF analyst. Little tiny terriers bark like crazy. Kind of a grating high-pitched yap.

  21. DC_Bengals_Fan says: May 19, 2009 1:10 PM

    Come on, anyone’s going to go with MNF if they come calling. In fact, if Gruden’s agent didn’t already have an escape clause in the NFLN contract that allowed him to jump to MNF if it offered, then he’s an idiot. If so, the contract being signed or not wouldn’t have mattered.

  22. veistran says: May 19, 2009 1:17 PM

    Presumably the reason they can’t keep Schefter and the reason Gruden shopped his deal to ESPN are one and the same; namely they are being cheap. I wonder when Mike Mayock’s contract is up because ESPN probably nabs him too. Imagine Mayock vs Kiper instead of McDouche it could actually be interesting instead of lame. I can dream!

  23. Campy5 says: May 19, 2009 1:28 PM

    Peter King renegged on his agreement with Kissing Suzy Kolber not to discuss Mary Beth King ever again too

  24. John Paul says: May 19, 2009 1:28 PM

    No sympathy for NFLN at all here. Who in their right mind would pass up the opportunity to do Monday Night Football on ESPN (with bijillions of people watching each week) for the sake of doing some tiddleywinks NFLN gig a few times a year? MNF is the most iconic football broadcasting job in the country.
    Do most TV sets in the country even *get* NFLN? I mean, from what I’ve seen of it they do a decent enough job, but it’s purely small beans…it’s like working for the “Southern Cuisine Network” or something like that.
    No signature, no deal. Simple as that.

  25. thedeej3000 says: May 19, 2009 1:33 PM

    Duemig calling some one an a-hole is like being called fat by Oprah…. or being called a drunk by Dennis Rodman (or Duemig again) or being called illiterate by Dexter Manly or being called a steroid user by Roger Clemons… you get the idea.

  26. Darth Ringo says: May 19, 2009 1:35 PM

    I’m just glad Gruden is on board for MNF, could care less if a network suit feels jilted.

  27. ryanmc says: May 19, 2009 2:00 PM

    “Per King, the two sides had finalized “everything but the signature on the paper.””
    ….and the lesson is: the signature on the paper is a kinda important part of any deal. In fact, it’s really not a deal at all until then.

  28. tj.52 says: May 19, 2009 2:06 PM

    “Meanwhile, our old friend Steve Duemig of WDAE in Tampa, a well-known Gruden critic, has unloaded on the former Bucs coach via Twitter: “Now people should believe what I’ve been saying about that a-hole all along,” Duemig says.”
    ——————————————————————————————–
    -Wow, you just quote any and every know-nothing nobody loser who has anything whatsoever to say.
    (Don’t quote me)

  29. HaveYouQuitYourDayJob says: May 19, 2009 2:24 PM

    the agent will follow the money, just ask T.O.
    still gotta ask, does this mean Gruden is done coaching?
    and how does this really play out with Jaws? Jaws is a QB, Gruden is a QBs coach, either they agree too much or thier at each others throats.
    Everyone loves the GRuden to MNF idea (mostly because everyone hated Kornholio) but there is a chance this thing could not go as swimmingly as everyone thinks.

  30. Jersuza says: May 19, 2009 2:43 PM

    Steve Duemig is a very good and knowledgeable sports talk show host. There are two things he hates, ESPN and Jon Gruden.
    Duemig’s hatred of Gruden in my opinion is obsessive and emotionally dysfunctional. He just can’t let it go.

  31. DarthPirate says: May 19, 2009 2:50 PM

    Actually I think Duemig is accurate. After all it takes an A Hole to know an A Hole.

  32. eric2706 says: May 19, 2009 2:56 PM

    F-The big dog. That’s stupid. If ESPN offered me more money I’d take it too. MNF is the ultimate job. I’m sure that was a huge reason why he took it. Duemig ought to be happy Gruden was the coach. That let His buddy Joey G, Sit around and not practice a single day for 3 years and keep a starting job. What other team can he do that? Won’t be N.E. F the big dog. I hate that guy.. and Joey and anyone else who disses Gruden. Gruden saved Joey’s career. The only reason he’s playing at 38 now is cause of Gruden allowing him not to practice. Allowing him to run fly routes and not sending his punk a$$ over the middle or not sitting him for not blocking in the running game. Yeah Gallaway Theres a real reason to hat eGruden for not playing you. How about YOU DIDN’T PRACTICE ONCE WHEN THERE WAS HITTING THE LAST 2 YEARS YOU WERE HERE. Now that Grudens gone Duemig is all on Joe Maddon. The guys show sucks without Gruden to talk about.

  33. Topher says: May 19, 2009 2:57 PM

    There is no such thing as a verbal agreement. There is conversation. There is discussion. There is an understanding of what might happen. But if it ain’t signed, it ain’t done.
    NFL Network lost and they have nobody to blame. If they couldn’t get Gruden to sign then they saw that as a red flag and knew something was up. They sat on their hands and trusted it would work out on its own. That isn’t business, that’s happenstance.

  34. atomicpunk says: May 19, 2009 4:49 PM

    Classic… Gruden gets two big paychecks, one from MNF and the other from his 3 year contract extension from the Bucs. That guy steps in more $hit….
    oh yeah duemig sux.

  35. Pastabelly says: May 19, 2009 4:52 PM

    Gruden will suck as an ESPN analyst. All he cares about is himself and will say nothing controversial because all he cares about is his next deal coaching in the NFL. I will always remember him as the one person who really choked that playoff game away to the Patriots in the snow. His game management was overshadowed by a controversial tuck rule call. But he F’d up that game with horrendous playcalling late in the 4th quarter and continued until the final field goal.

  36. Darth Ringo says: May 19, 2009 5:29 PM

    @ HaveYouQuitYourDayJob, the Jaws & Grud chemistry remains to be seen.. I suspect it’ll work. The old NFL Playbook show (? forget the name — with Suzy Kolber and Merril Hodge) was quite good, dealing with Xs and Os game planning.
    Jaws seemed to lose something doing the vaudeville laugh-a-lot crap with Kornheiser.. talking football with another football guy will improve the broadcasts. Gruden did a good job on the draft on the NFLN.

  37. mrogers18 says: May 19, 2009 6:28 PM

    Ha… Kornheiser just ended the SportsCenter PTI session with him waving his PTI flag and as it blended out he snuck in “maybe I can become an NFL coach now.” He’s awesome on PTI … not so much on MNF.

  38. screaming sheep says: May 19, 2009 6:35 PM

    Are you sure its really his Twitter account?

  39. mskrs says: May 19, 2009 7:50 PM

    Pastabelly wrote: “All he cares about is himself and will say nothing controversial because all he cares about is his next deal coaching in the NFL.”
    Seems like Gruden wasn’t too concerned with his next coaching gig in the NFL when he left the NFL Network (which is essentially the NFL) at the altar and eloped with ESPN.
    Peter King’s report that Gruden was due at NFL Films headquarters this week makes me wonder if they were going to use him in a “Playbook” capacity – breaking down game film (like ESPN has used his new boothmate – Jaworski). It would have been interesting if they had reunited him with Sterling Sharpe (they were tight in Green Bay when Gruden was wide receivers’ coach there) and they did some analysis together.
    Oh well, it was not to be.

  40. go long says: May 20, 2009 10:17 AM

    DUI-mig is the biggest farce on radio today. If this is the kind of guy you are going to plug Florio then I may have to reevaluate you.
    The contract is not agreed to until it is signed. Just like DUI-mig’s plea bargains aren’t final until he signs them. And the NFLN losing Sheffner was a BIG MISTAKE – their reporting has sucked since he left. They want to play with the big boys and CRY when things don’t go their way. Sour grapes.
    Gruden will be great on MNF and when he does return to coaching I hope he coaches an NFC South team so he can kick the Bucs’ a** twice a year for eternity.

  41. kappa08 says: May 20, 2009 10:26 AM

    Before all you glad handlers back into Gruden’s spank ask yourselves this….Name one player that liked working for him?
    Before you get all high and mighty about someone pulling a DUI and paying for it. Unlike you self righteous liars that never had “1beer” and hit the road.LOL…know your facts.
    Gruden is a punk and will always be a punk…the type of punk that runs his mouth then scoots out the back door when the fight breaks out leaving his “friends” to handle his business.
    Don’t take my word for it…ask his brother who can’t sit in a room with him for more than 5 mins. It’s all in black and white in an SI article about Gruden written when he was the golden boy for all.
    Look…good for him he not only was able to screw the Glazer’s with 4 million a year and a ticket fan base that had enough of the little failure that couldn’t run an offense. He now screwed NFL football. But hey it’s all good right? He didn’t sign anything right?….Good luck with that attitude when you need you back gotten. Maybe just maybe for ONCE in your life you may have to handle your own business for a change. hahahahahahahahahha

  42. go long says: May 20, 2009 11:39 AM

    kappa – So now his own brother doesn’t like him??!! You are truly an idiot. His brother has been on his coaching staff in Tampa Bay for the past 7 years and won a Super Bowl with him. Try again loser.
    You want players who liked Gruden? Try Jerry Rice, Ike Hilliard, Rich Gannon loves Gruden, Sterling Sharpe, Warrick Dunn, Barber, Brooks, Kevin Carter, Hovan, Davin Joseph – mostly the players who actually matter (leaders) – those are the ones who liked him. Ask Antonio Bryant if he liked Gruden – no one else gave Antonio another chance. Ask Jerramy Stevens. You people listen to people like DUI-mig (and don’t give me this higher than thou stuff – SOME OF US DON’T DRIVE DRUNK) and form your opinions. Like a heard of freaking sheep.

  43. go long says: May 20, 2009 11:41 AM

    and by the way DUI-mig has MORE THAN ONE DUI. But I guess only one is ok right? until someone in your family is the one he kills.

  44. kappa08 says: May 20, 2009 12:55 PM

    “and by the way”…pppffftttt *wave off*

  45. kappa08 says: May 21, 2009 2:28 PM

    I love how the name calling only goes one way on this board….my comments get pulled because I have the audacity to punch back after my very appropriate response to “so long’s” juvenile getting personal….Gutless cowards…You know better than to go with me I will rip you to shreds.

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