Gruden’s contract should shake up coaching market

Getty Images

Jon Gruden hasn’t coached in nine years. Over the final six years of his career, he lost six more games than he won, at 45-51.

And yet he’ll make $100 million over the next 10 years.

Without knowing how much of the deal is guaranteed, it’s impossible to know whether it’s a firm $100 million. It benefits both sides to create the impression that Gruden is committed to the team, and the team is committed to him, for as long as John Madden coached the team.

It also benefits other coaches to generate the impression that Gruden is making $10 million per year, even if the reality is that the deal is backloaded with non-guaranteed money that drives up the average payout in the guaranteed years. A decade ago, it seemed inevitable that the going rate for accomplished coaches would soar past $10 million per year. Gruden’s deal will give other coaches a basis for arguing for more than whatever has been offered — especially if those coaches have a winning record and/or more than one Super Bowl appearance.

Really, if Gruden is worth $10 million per year (assuming that’s the real number), how much is Bill Belichick worth? Would it be $20 million? More?

Apart from those who’d be worth more than Gruden, having him at $10 million per year (assuming that’s the real number) should helped coaches with less experience. Which comes in handy as five other jobs soon will be filled.

Given that the Gruden details undoubtedly will be used to help other coaches in their own talks, don’t be shocked if more details emerge about Gruden’s actual deal, given that it will benefit other teams for the truth to come out — if the truth is that someone is puffing the numbers in order to make the Gruden contract look better than it is.

68 responses to “Gruden’s contract should shake up coaching market

  1. It would be insane if there were more than four guaranteed years in that contract. Gruden wouldn’t even be under consideration for a coaching job if he hadn’t been on TV the last nine years.

  2. I don’t understand how you can pay this guy $10 million when he hasn’t coached since 2008 and wasn’t an elite coach in the first place. Makes you wonder how much Belichick is worth. How about a good coach like Cower who hasn’t coached in years?
    Also do you really think he’s going to be there in 10 years? SMH

  3. I’m just curious about where Jack Del Rio is going to end up. Maybe Arizona? Maybe Mike Munchak goes to AZ and Pittsburgh hires Del Rio as OC?

  4. I’m not sure that one owner with insanity in the family … who vastly overpays for something … is setting the bar for others. Gruden found a fool with money … and parted him from it. That doesn’t mean everyone now has to be a fool.

  5. So if I buy a lawn chair for $10,000 would that shake up the lawn chair market?

    Or would everyone just think I’m crazy for paying more than I should for a lawn chair?

  6. How much is guaranteed? Really interesting if Mark Davis has guaranteed the full amount. Who could forget the Bucs 2006 season under Gruden they went 4 – 12. Still think that Gruden has enhanced his prowess as a coach from his stint in TV, but he could be rusty after a decade’s absence from coaching.

  7. This is an aberration, so beyond the bell curve that it can’t impact the coaching market. Any agent who tries to use this contract for valuation will be laughed out of the GM’s office.

  8. No, it shouldn’t. He got the one guy who would pay him that to do so as evidenced by the Glazers who are a billion times richer than Mark Davis bowing out before it even became a bidding war. This falls in the camp of a guy who kind of fell backward into being an owner out of the shadow of the most domineering owner in the last 50 years trying to make his own way by reaching for the only tangibly good part of Raider lore that’s not rooted back in the 70s and 80s. It will probably fail spectacularly, but oh well.

  9. If Al had put any importance on coaching like his son just did, we would have won 4-5 SB’s over the last 15 years.

  10. Love these contracts owners come up with and then ask for taxpayer dollars to build stadiums

  11. To me, paying sour face Gruden is worth the $10 mil just to get him out of the booth. As far as the Raiders though, they must be plain and simple stupid…the ‘haircut’ has lost his freakin’ mind.

  12. Mark Davis is insane for paying that kind of money. I bet he could’ve gotten Gruden for less than half that much if he tried. I seriously doubt that any other owners will follow Davis’s lead on this. Why should they? Good coaches will sign for decent money. Davis just made a huge mistake.

  13. What is it about this guy that make people want him so much? After four nice years in Oakland, the Raiders wanted to get rid of him but still managed to get two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and $8 million from Tampa for him. He won the Super Bowl his first year with Tampa, primarily because of the defense built by Tony Dungy, then did nothing of note the next six years. Now he’s out of coaching for nine years and the Raiders want the guy back for $100 million? They must be thinking they can trade him for picks again, and they probably can.

  14. If he’s anything like his dad, Davis will just fire Gruden and not pay him if it isn’t working out. No need to worry about if it’s guaranteed

  15. Crazy deal. Giving a 10 year contract to someone who hasn’t coached since 2008 might not work out so well. Imagine the Raiders having to pay a $60 million severance if Gruden gets bored with the job, if the new CBA restricts teams, or if he can’t reach or connect with a new generation of players?

  16. “Love these contracts owners come up with and then ask for taxpayers dollars to build stadiums”.

    If you’re not a taxpayer in the jurisdiction where the stadium is being built you shouldn’t care. It doesn’t have any effect on you.

  17. No, it shouldn’t shake up the market. This is a wildly irresponsible contract to hand out to a head coach. Especially one that’s been on the shelf for a decade.

    This is the kind of problem you encounter though when the owner resembles Ruprect from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

  18. Belichick should be the highest paid person in the NFL. And maybe he is; no one but Kraft, BB, the IRS, and some accountants know what BB makes.

  19. I heard ESPN is coming out with another article this time saying that Belichick is now threatening to hold out if his contract isnt renegotiatedbecause of this.

  20. I like Gruden, more power to him. I wonder how much Romo will get paid to coach someday?

  21. alot of you seem to be missing the big picture here. none of this money goes against the cap, so who cares. To Mark Davis Gruden is worth 10mill a year, he may not be worth that to other teams but he is to mark. and if it doesnt work out, well then Mark will be paying Gruden alot of money to not coach. its his money so what? like i said it doesnt go against the cap.

  22. If Gruden has success, will there be a run of coaches taking stints in broadcasting? Is there an added advantage? I’m too lazy at the moment to use my google box and find out success rates of coaches, if any, that spent substantial time in the booth.

  23. This is the new century of the Raiders that will tank for anther 100 years if things don’t go as planned. What a waste of franchise when it comes to desperation mode.

  24. Gruden’s deal will give other coaches a basis for arguing for more than whatever has been offered — especially if those coaches have a winning record and/or more than one Super Bowl appearance.

    The only coach worth that money is BB. The only close runner-up was Jim Harbaugh had he wanted to remain in the NFL after SF. Otherwise no other coach has proven themselves like BB.

    I think the general consensus is Oakland is really desperate for a “big name” coach for their move to Vegas.

  25. Gruden, as you mentioned, over the last 6 years of coaching, 45-51

    Rex Ryan, last 6 years of coaching, 41-55.

    Rex should be looking at $8m/yr for his next gig.

  26. Gruden should pay Rich Gannon half of that contract because it was Gannon that won all those games.

    Clearly a marketing move and don’t worry the Raiders aren’t paying that money, Las Vegas is.

    Hopefully there is 5 million around to pay the defensive coordinator.

  27. LOL. Only the Raiders would flip to this kinda deal. God Bless the Davis family for continual mismanagement of this once iconic franchise. Those days are so long ago. Move much?

  28. Marc Davis is just beautiful. Moving the team to Vegas with Chuckie @ the helm is flat out forward thinking. Gruden has has plenty of time to get the batteries recharged and it’s about time coaches started making the big money too.

  29. Not to forget that when he gets to LV, everyone will be so happy to see him, he’ll drink for free.

    $100m AND free drinks.

    Everyone loves a sure thing.

    Especially in Las Vegas, baby!

  30. the real question is how good of a coach is Belichick without Tom Brady? (36-44 as browns coach)

  31. Gruden never had a great QB when he was winning those 100 games. Most great coaches had HOF QB’s. That’s why they were great coaches. Look at Kyle Shanahan this year. He was 1-10, then they put Garoppolo in and won five games in a row. Did Shanahan suddenly become a better coach?

  32. Lol, if Gruden is smart he got a good potion of those years guaranteed. The last Raiders coach to make it to 5 years was Shell at the beginning of the 90’s. That includes Gruden’s first go around when he was shown the door after 4 winning seasons, the last 2 of which the won the AFC west. In almost a 30 year span only 2 coaches lasted more than 3 seasons. If I remember correctly there have been 9 coaches in the 16 since Gruden was let go.

    Good or bad, Gruden will not be the Raiders coach 4 years from now.

    As long as the owner of the team is named “Davis”, the team is doomed.

  33. This is going to screw teams, as bad as the Bears did with the Mike Glennon deal. Every time I hear about a QB salary negotiation… the old “Well Mike Glennon is getting 18M and hes terrible” line pops up.

  34. It’s actually kind of surprising that there aren’t more coaching deals as big as this one. The coach is arguably more important than any player and there’s no salary cap on the coaches. Big money to coaches and front office is probably the number one way to improve a team.

  35. Just proves (again) that you can’t stop crazy! I would think his contract won’t do much of anything. Because it is an average not the total of one high. And , its the Raiders. They have always been the crazy uncle in the league.

  36. Why should that shake up the coaching market? The Raiders over paid that is there fault. Like teams who over pay for bad quarterbacks. Not sure why Aaron Rodgers needs to be the highest paid qb just because some dumb organization went out and threw money to a qb on their teams who doesn’t deserve it.

  37. > the real question is how good of a coach is Belichick without Tom Brady? (36-44 as browns coach)
    11-5 with Matt Cassel
    3-1 with Jimmy G & Jacoby Brissett with a banged-up thumb,
    So pretty good. Better than Gruden.

  38. This can’t be as simple a contract as it sounds.
    The Raiders are not a wealthy NFL team, and Davis is not one of the wealthiest owner.

    I have to assume that there are a bunch of performance bonuses within that $100M.
    It would be nuts to have more than ~4 years of the contract guaranteed. It would also be foolish to guarantee $10M/yr without a Superbowl victory somewhere in there, or at least a minimum number of wins or division titles.

  39. I dont see the problem, Cutler makes 10 mill a year to lose games. whats wrong with paying Gruden 10 mill a year?

  40. Gruden won’t last 5 years with the Raiders so Davis will be paying a coach $50 million to sit home. He looks as dumb as he is.

  41. I doubt this will shake up the coaching pay scale. It will amount to watching a $100 million dollar screw-up that will leave the other 31 teams saying, ‘yeah, i knew that was a bad deal from day 1.’

  42. Simple: you’re worth whatever a team is willing to pay for your services. It sounds like a lot, but it’s really what a top-tier guard makes per season. A guy like Gruden can have a huge impact on a team so it seems reasonable to me on a per year basis. The length is really the only unusual part.

  43. Nick Saban’s agent is floating rumors his client is going to the NFL right now. No one gets his client’s contract ripped up and replaced with a fatter contract better than Saban’s agent.

  44. Can’t afford a stadium though. Anyways, if this guys getting this, the Browns should offer Coach Cowher $200 mil and see if he’ll come back to his old stomping grounds.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.