Gruden signs "exclusive" extension with ESPN

With rumors flying that Jon Gruden could be eyeballing a return to coaching in 2010, ESPN has announced that Gruden has signed an “exclusive” multi-year agreement to remain with Monday Night Football.

Though the release is silent in this regard, the implicit message is that Gruden is off the market, not only for other broadcasting jobs but also for coaching jobs.

Frankly, we’re not sure we believe it.  And unless and until ESPN discloses the relevant language of the contract, we’ll be suspicious.  (Then again, we’re pretty much always suspicious.  Primarily because everyone is pretty much always lying.)

Then again, it’s possible that another term of the contract — compensation — has prompted ESPN to pay Gruden the same amount of money he’d make as an NFL coach.

It’s also possible that ESPN and Gruden have opted to create the impression that he’s not thinking about returning to the NFL in order to throw water on concerns that some teams might have about Gruden being in the building when he might be less than two months from working with a competitor.

Regardless, the proof as to whether Gruden has made a long-term commitment to broadcasting will be in the pudding of Gruden’s commentary.  Though he was applauded early on due primarily to the fact that he’s, you know, not Tony Kornheiser, Gruden has become even more glowing and effusive in his praise of the participants than Joe Theismann a/k/a Joey Sunshine.

Bottom line?  If Gruden continues to be “Jonny Gumdrops,” we’ll conclude that this “exclusive” arrangement was aimed only at getting him through the current season without being treated as if the mother’s spit holding his hair down includes a high concentration of H1N1 virus.

29 responses to “Gruden signs "exclusive" extension with ESPN

  1. Simply a pile of Mike Florio’s foolish viewpoints and an article that wasted moments of my life.
    You have Chris Collingsworth announcing for you on Sunday Night what room do you have to talk about anyone’s announcers?

  2. Mike Greenberg was going on and on this morning about how great Gruden is on TV. I disagree. He sucks, he’s terrible. Everybody is great, great, great. Every sentence starts with “this guy,” and then he goes into a monologue about how great some player, coach or team is. His penis sucking of Drew Brees and Sean Peyton was nauseating. It’s become unwatchable.

  3. That’s it! I just ripped out the volume control on my remote and set it to mute! I’m not taking any chances.

  4. Florio, you idiot…. must you think everything is a conspiracy theory, or a subtle lie?
    Gruden, while not the best analyst, has actually done a pretty decent job on MNF. He is pretty insightful, and has keen observations as to what is going on during the course of a game.
    His only really drawback, is his use of absolutes, and exaggerations on far to many players. When someone makes a good play, he tends to go off, as to how they are the best in the league at doing said scheme, or is the best at their position. Overall though, he has far more positives than negatives in his announcing role. He is certainly many times better than all the failed experiments MNF has tried with their three man booth (uhhhhh, Dennis Miller, Tony Kornheiser).
    Maybe Gruden realized he can make a lot of money, still be heavily involved in the NFL, and not put up with all the grind, and intense second guessing that comes with being an NFL Coach.
    Try this one for something different Florio, give someone the benefit of the doubt for once. I guess that is asking to much, for someone who was once a lawyer, and will forever show his true colors for his need to create attention, and controversy.

  5. If anyone thinks Gruden is not coming back to the NFL there wrong. The question is not if, its when. Gruden may do MNF one more year, but if the right coaching situation arises this offseason, Gruden is jumping ship. And i don’t think Gruden has done a bad job. He is far better than Theisman and Kornheiser.

  6. I’d be pretty surprised if the contract doesn’t have some kind of an out that lets him get back to coaching. He seems to be too much of a football junky to get his fix out of just broadcasting.

  7. This just means that i will need to keep a pail by the couch to catch the vomit… this guy THE WORST, most disgustingly listenable person ever in the booth. the was he verbally goes down on any & every thing wearing a sweaty jock makes me sick.

  8. We can all rest knowing Gruden’s analysis are objective now.
    Or maybe not, I think Florio brings up a great point. Chucky doesn’t strike me as a guy content being in the booth. Dude paces and gets antsy like he wants to coach. This extension has suspect written all over it.

  9. Are you allowed to say “penis sucking”?
    How about describing what Rex Lomardi and Sanchez must be doing to “greenie”?
    At least we could come up with some clever play on words about nibbling on Sanchez’s hot dog…

  10. I think Gruden is great on MNF. His passion is genuine and you can feel how much he loves football. Every reaction he has emanates directly from his love and passion for the game. He watches and reacts to the game like a true fan………..who also happens to have a phenomenal knowledge of the game. Who cares if he’s overly complimentary? He has tremendous respect for those actually good enough to play and coach at that level. He always provides strong analysis and insight into the action taking place. ESPN needs to get rid of those other two stiffs in the booth. Gruden’s the only decent one there. It’s a shame he doesn’t have a strong play-by-play guy to work with. He does need to get that dopey scowl removed from his face, but that’s another story…….

  11. I hope I dont wear out the MUTE button on my remote because it will be getting a workout on Monday nights.

  12. I think Gruden wants to be known as off the market because most of the available coaching jobs this year will be in black holes. It is one thing to take on a job where the team just needs a little nudge. It’s another where the team totally stinks and the owner sticks his nose in every 10 minutes. This is a way to protect himself from those bad situations and still make a ton of money.

  13. dmitch has it right, NBC has Collingsworth doing their games. Major LOSER. No room for them to knock Gruden.

  14. Seriously man, do a little research. As reported by the folks at, the “exclusive” contract contains an out clause that if someone comes calling he can leave ESPN and return to the sidelines with no penalties.
    All this extension gives him is a saftey net if no teams come knocking that interest him.

  15. Im back to having music playing and the mute button on monday night… maybe ill hit the closed captioning.. but sick of hearing how “hes on of the best/great/whatever term he uses” everyplayer he talks about is…

  16. Quite slamming Florio, a-holes. He built an unbelievably successful website while you jealous punks sat on your ass doing nothing. Now a long line of you rip him every chance you get.
    Envy is one of the 7 deadly sins.

  17. Id like to see the effusive use of praise with the Browns playing this week. He’ll really have to EARN that money tonight

  18. What team could be dumb enough to hire him as HC? And what other station could be dumb enough to hire him as a color commentator? He’s terrible in both aspects.

  19. He’s still a lot better than Kornheiser – but that ain’t sayin much.
    Guy enjoys being famous a little too much. Any bets he’ll eventually end up being on Dancing with the Stars?

  20. No kidding, I’d take Gruden over Collinsworth anyday. Of all the out of work former NFL players Collinsworth is the best you can do ? I’d rather listen to that Sham WoW guy.

  21. I kind of miss Kornheiser. Yeah, he sucked, but sometimes it was funny to hear the ridiculous shit he would say, or the occasional f-word on live TV. Of course, if we’re looking for someone who is knowledgeable about the game and a competent commentator, then Tony is definitely not it…

  22. Collinsworth Vs. Gruden, no contest, THEY BOTH SUCK. But Florioioioios assessment of Gruden as an uber-sunshine is correct. And Collinsworth is an uber-smug d-bag. Different types of suckage.

  23. I just turned on the sound long enough to hear Gruden state that Mangini is a heck-of-a-coach.
    Flush that credibility as an announcer, Lassie.

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