ESPN has no comment regarding what it knew and when about Gruden

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If, as Raiders owner Mark Davis admitted on Tuesday, he struck a secret deal with Jon Gruden to coach the team on December 24, it means that Gruden secretly was working for the Raiders during a pair of games that he broadcast for ESPN.

Specifically, Gruden handled the Christmas night Raiders-Eagles game for ESPN with a secret deal in hand to become Oakland’s coach. Also, Gruden worked Saturday’s Titans-Chiefs game for ESPN with that same undisclosed (but by Saturday known by pretty much everyone) deal in place.

So we posed four questions to ESPN about the situation:

1. When did Gruden inform ESPN he was talking to the Raiders?

2. When did Gruden inform ESPN he was leaving Monday Night Football?

3. Did ESPN know Gruden and Mark Davis had reached an agreement before the December 25 Monday Night Football game, as Davis confirmed [Tuesday]? 

4. Does ESPN have any policies that would have required him to disclose his plans before calling that Raiders game?

ESPN declined to comment on each of these questions.

The news that the Raiders had a deal with Gruden before firing Del Rio gives even more credence to questions raised in response to the initial reporting from Gruden’s former employer about what at the time was being called on the “pursuit” of Gruden: “That connection alone mandates the application of skepticism to any aspect of the report that seems self-serving to Gruden, including the eye-rolling notion that he prefers to wait to make a decision until after the regular season ends and the Raiders decide whether to keep coach Jack Del Rio. The Raiders won’t want to fire Del Rio unless they think they can get Gruden.”

Yes, ESPN actually suggested that Gruden wants to wait for nature to takes its course between Gruden and Del Rio, even though the Raiders already had a deal in place with the Force of Nature who will help the Raiders finish their run in Oakland and launch their time in Las Vegas. So either Gruden lied to ESPN or ESPN lied to its audience.

Either way, Tuesday’s admission from Davis creates plenty of problems for plenty of people — none of which really matter to Davis, because he ultimately got the guy he wanted.

35 responses to “ESPN has no comment regarding what it knew and when about Gruden

  1. I don’t remember anyone ever causing Mark Davis of being smart.
    And this is another example why it won’t happen anytime soon.

  2. So much for the supposed unwritten rule of coaches not talking to owners about other coaches jobs. Feel bad for Del Rio. Helped turn the Raiders around and then they dropped him.

  3. How much do you want to bet that if The Patriots were involved, and it would paint them in a bad light or cause them issues with the league, ESPN would have handed over every little tidbit of information that was asked for and even some that was not.

  4. ESPN keeps secrets for Gruden and Raiders, then makes things up about the Patriots. Does ESPN hold a bias?

  5. “ESPN keeps secrets for Gruden and Raiders, then makes things up about the Patriots.”

    The entire world is against those poor, downtrodden Patriots. Life is so unfair.

  6. I’m sure Seth Wickersham can get to the bottom of it. Of course, his report would have no sources, no evidence, no facts, wild speculation, and something asinine like warm gatorade

  7. I always make certain that I have another job before I quit the current one.
    I always have a replacement interviewed before I fire an employee.

    Common sense 101

  8. Every article has responses from the delusional Patriot fans that get their parties in a wad and act like little kids and blame conspiracy theories for their 2 major cheating scandals that affected the integrity of the game.

    You’re only making yourself look like foolish crybabies. Get over it. Your teams legacy will always be tainted.

  9. A huge fine and giving up some draft picks seems about right for the sleazy way they went about this. It won’t happen, though, because it’s not the Patriots. I hate what they did to Jack Del Rio. Dirty…

  10. pftreader69 says:
    January 11, 2018 at 11:29 am
    Don’t they have any “unnamed sources” or “guys in the building” that can answer these questions for us?
    ===========================

    Get Wickersham on this, stat! He’ll have 40 anonymous sources saying whatever you want by tomorrow morning.

  11. So, i am not sure what the issue is here. IF ESPN has a policy that they needed to be notified if Gruden was talking to another team – that’s their call. It’s also their business whether such a policy was followed, if it exists. Assuming they were aware of it, who cares? I learned a long time ago, that until you have it in writing – it is subject to change.

    My guess is that Gruden may have discussed the terms he was interested in, but nothing was provided in writing (and countersigned) until after DelRio was fired.

    Guess what? Happens all the time.

  12. Who is ESPN? Their importance is at the bottom of the ladder and really most could care less of their opinion.

  13. The worldwide joke of sportscasting has no problem lying about Brady, the Pats and other teams, but one of their own does something underhanded and up goes the wall.

    Corrupt, disgusting liars.

  14. This is the issue with the Rooney Rule. Suppose Belichick was available, every team in the league would want him. Yet they would have to pseudo interview some random guy before they could hire him. What’s the purpose? You want the best coach available regardless of color. Imagine if they did that with players? Sorry Browns, you can’t sign Drew Brees until you have talked to Tyrpd Taylor. Ridiculous.

  15. Lets see… the NFL network is run by the owners and ESPN is involved in the Story. Come on Fox. Better get to the bottom of this with a WickerSHAM kind of piece.

  16. “My” Raiders (remember, I live in a different country) are the sleaziest* franchise in the NFL. Kind of a sad state of affairs.

    *Obviously, the Patriots are the actual sleaziest team, but that’s a given. We’re still #2! Only thing different between us and New England is at least they win.

  17. The worldwide joke of sportscasting has no problem lying about Brady, the Pats and other teams, but one of their own does something underhanded and up goes the wall.

    Corrupt, disgusting liars.

    —-

    Oh look, Patriots fans are still crying. Give it a rest.

  18. If Belichick made a secret deal to coach the Giants weeks ago, it would be Armageddon in the media. And the race-baiting over skirting the Rooney Rule would be intolerable. The entire BSPN organization would be called off of every other sport to focus on the Patriots and Belichick et.al.

    Hey does anybody know where I can find the results of the NFL investigation into the Pittsburgh Steelers ball deflation scandal?

  19. nflyoda says:
    January 11, 2018 at 11:52 am
    This is the issue with the Rooney Rule. Suppose Belichick was available, every team in the league would want him. Yet they would have to pseudo interview some random guy before they could hire him. What’s the purpose? You want the best coach available regardless of color. Imagine if they did that with players? Sorry Browns, you can’t sign Drew Brees until you have talked to Tyrpd Taylor. Ridiculous.

    ————-

    One side of the argument is that those interviews would be false and they are pointless. However, proponents of the rule see that experience in interviewing as very valuable for young coaches regardless of the hiring chances being close to zero.

  20. Well, if he gave his two week notice that puts it right around Christmas. What is the problem here?

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