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#pounditFriday, June 14, 2024

Report: Jon Gruden could join coaching staff of 1 NFC team

Jon Gruden with a visor on

Dec 22, 2019; Carson, California, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden reacts before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden may have a route back into the NFL if one team gets its way.

The New Orleans Saints are considering Gruden as a possible staff addition, according to Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com. Gruden visited with team officials during the team’s Week 17 trip to Tampa and even attended a team meeting the night before their game against the Buccaneers.

There is believed to be mutual interest in a role, assuming Gruden does not receive a head coaching interview during the current hiring cycle. It is unlikely that Gruden would replace anyone on the current staff if he joined, but would instead fill some type of senior assistant role.

Gruden last worked in the NFL in 2021, when he was forced out of the Raiders’ head coaching position after leaked emails showed him using racist and homophobic language. He later sued the NFL, claiming people within the league intentionally leaked the emails to force him out of a job. That litigation is still ongoing and is the biggest reason Gruden has not been hired elsewhere.

From the Saints’ perspective, Gruden’s appeal is obvious. He is a Super Bowl winner who is close with quarterback Derek Carr, who had some very successful seasons with the Raiders under Gruden. He also spent time around the Saints prior to last season. The biggest question here might be whether the NFL would be okay with Gruden working again, or perhaps how much the Saints care about their thoughts on the matter.

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