NFL Notebook: Gruden returns to Raiders

The Sports Xchange

January 05, 2018 at 7:04 pm.

Jan 23, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; ESPN broadcaster and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders former coach Jon Gruden at Team Irvin practice at Scottsdale Community College in advance of the 2015 Pro Bowl. Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 23, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; ESPN broadcaster and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders former coach Jon Gruden at Team Irvin practice at Scottsdale Community College in advance of the 2015 Pro Bowl. Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Gruden is returning to the sideline with the Oakland Raiders and will be rewarded with a contract that is the longest and richest for any coach in NFL history, multiple media outlets reported Friday.

Gruden, currently the color commentator on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” will be officially introduced as Oakland’s new head coach on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

In returning to the franchise where he coached his first four seasons, Gruden will receive a 10-year contract worth an estimated $100 million, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, citing sources.

Gruden, who began his head coaching career with the Raiders in 1998, will succeed Jack Del Rio, who was fired following a season-ending loss to the Los Angeles Chargers that capped a disappointing 6-10 campaign.

–There is a growing rift among the key men who have helped the New England Patriots win five Super Bowls in the past 16 seasons, according to a report on

The story, written by Seth Wickersham, claims “serious disagreements” among owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.

Wickersham, citing interviews with more than a dozen New England staffers, executives, players and league sources with knowledge of the team’s inner workings, wrote that the three men “differ on Brady’s trainer, body coach and business partner Alex Guerrero; over the team’s long-term plans at quarterback; over Belichick’s bracing coaching style; and most of all, over who will be the last man standing.”

Earlier this season, Belichick stripped Guerrero of access to the team’s headquarters and sideline on game day.

The team released a joint statement from Kraft, Belichick and Brady on Friday morning: “For the past 18 years, the three of us have enjoyed a very good and productive working relationship. In recent days, there have been multiple media reports that have speculated theories that are unsubstantiated, highly exaggerated or flat out inaccurate. The three of us share a common goal. We look forward to the enormous challenge of competing in the postseason and the opportunity to work together in the future, just as we have for the past 18 years. It is unfortunate that there is even a need for us to respond to these fallacies. As our actions have shown, we stand united.”

–A stunning turnaround helped the Los Angeles Rams land an NFL-high six players on The Associated Press All-Pro team.

Running back Todd Gurley, defensive lineman Aaron Donald, punter Johnny Hekker, left tackle Andrew Whitworth, kicker Greg Zuerlein and kick returner Pharoh Cooper were the Rams representatives.

Donald and Hekker joined Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown — the lone unanimous selection — and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner as the four repeat selections from last season’s All-Pro team.

Tom Brady of the Patriots was the All-Pro quarterback and he joined Gurley and flex selection Le’Veon Bell of the Steelers in the All-Pro backfield. DeAndre Hopkimns of the Texans was the other wide receiver along with Brown.

–Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy was listed as questionable for Sunday’s playoff game at the Jacksonville Jaguars.

McCoy practiced on a limited basis Friday after sitting out practice the previous two days due to an ankle injury suffered in the regular-season finale against Miami.

–Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee is listed as questionable for Sunday’s playoff game, but he did practice for the first time Friday after a two-game absence due to an injured ankle.

–The Baltimore Ravens hired James Urban as their quarterbacks coach and Greg Roman was promoted to assistant head coach, head coach John Harbaugh announced.

Urban spent the past seven years as the Cincinnati Bengals’ wide receivers coach.

–Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, announced he will enter the 2018 NFL Draft. senior analyst Rob Rang, in a mock draft this week, projected Jackson to go 24th overall in the first round.

–USC junior Ronald Jones II, the fifth-leading rusher in school history, announced that he will enter the 2018 NFL Draft.

Jones is rated as the fifth-best junior running back by, which gives him an early projection of the second or third round.

–Notre Dame lost its second offensive playmaker in as many days when running back Josh Adams announced he would enter the NFL Draft.

Adams joins fellow junior Equanimeous St. Brown into the draft. St. Brown, a receiver, declared on Thursday. rates Adams as the eighth-best junior running back, projected to go in the third- to fourth-round range.

–The temperature on Saturday in Cleveland is expected to top out at 9 degrees. But the blustery weather is not expected to deter a couple thousand fans from “celebrating” the Browns’ perfect 0-16 season with a parade.

The parade, which will include floats and banners, is the idea of Browns’ fan Chris McNeil, and will be held at noon at FirstEnergy Stadium.

–The New York Giants aren’t quite ready to jettison troubled cornerback Eli Apple — at least not yet.

New Giants general manager Dave Gettleman told the New York Post he met with the former first-round pick earlier in the week and that the meeting went well.

“It went fine,” Gettleman told Steve Serby of the New York Post of the meeting. “He was very attentive. He was focused. I told him he’s got a clean slate for me. Let’s move forward. Let’s see what happens.”

Days after being called a cancer to the team by veteran Landon Collins, Apple was suspended for the team’s final game for conduct detrimental to the team.

–Minnesota Vikings defensive back Tramaine Brock has been cleared of violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

In April, while a member of the San Francisco 49ers, he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. Charges were dropped in August, but by then the 49ers had released him. Brock apologized for the incident, which he described as a verbal altercation.

He signed a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks and was traded to the Vikings.

–Los Angeles Rams safety Blake Countess and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry were fined $48,620 apiece by the NFL for their actions in Sunday’s game, according to Pro Football Talk.

In Countess’ case, it was significant that he was only fined and not suspended for the hit he put on San Francisco 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin. As a result, Countess remains eligible to play in Saturday’s playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons.

This is the second time in five weeks Countess has been fined for a hit that knocked a receiver out of the game with a concussion.

Landry was ejected for his part in a fight during Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. The altercation came after Landry had scored on a 1-yard run.

Miami running back Kenyan Drake was also ejected for pulling the helmet off a Bills player and tossing it. He was fined $12,154.

–The Detroit Lions appear unwilling to let defensive coordinator Teryl Austin interview with a division rival.

According to multiple published reports, the Lions denied Green Bay permission to speak with Austin about the Packers’ vacant defensive coordinator opening.

The move by Detroit, reported by both the NFL Network and ESPN, came after the team granted permission for Austin to talk to the Cincinnati Bengals.

–Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur interviewed for the Chicago Bears head coaching position, the team announced.

–The Arizona Cardinals were in Philadelphia to interviews two Eagles’ assistants, according to a report from

Arizona was scheduled to interview defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz in the afternoon, followed by quarterback coach John DeFilippo at night.

The Cardinals are in the midst of multiple interviews following the retirement of Bruce Arians.




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