In the aftermath of the resignation of Raiders coach Jon Gruden, we outlined the various factors that relate to whether he’ll receive further compensation under his supposed 10-year, $100 million deal. One possibility was a settlement of his ongoing claim to guaranteed pay.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, a settlement has not yet been reached, but a settlement is expected.
Rapoport also reports that Gruden is owed roughly $40 million over the balance of the deal. This meshes with the notion that the full $100 million wasn’t guaranteed. Also, to the extent that the deal was (as we’ve heard) backloaded, that $40 million quite possibly falls far from 100 percent of the money he was still due to make.
Frankly, it’s surprising that a deal wasn’t worked out before Gruden walked away. The fact that it didn’t happen shows how quickly this all happened.
Moving forward, there are two important factors to consider. First, the Commissioner resolves all grievances arising from coaching contracts. Second, the leaks of Gruden emails to former Washington executive Bruce Allen fell short of Gruden’s return to the Raiders as the head coach. Allen remained on the job during the first two years of Gruden’s tenure; if any troubling emails were sent from the Raiders.com domain, it becomes much easier to prove that the firing happened for cause.
To the extent that Gruden and Davis parted ways with a loose understanding as to how things would work out, the sooner that becomes an enforceable contract, the better. The passage of time could make either side reconsider, opting to roll the dice for a better deal than the one they sealed with a handshake, or by knocking on wood.