After spending four years in the ESPN broadcast booth calling Monday Night Football, Jon Gruden appears to be looking at making a return to head coaching, according to Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com.
WalterFootball.com has learned from sources that former Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden is eyeing a return to coaching. Sources around him have shared that he is looking into different assistant coaches around the league and seeing what their potential availability will be after the 2012 season.
Campbell's report also says that Gruden is only looking to return to "a perfect situation," and that he wants "good ownership and some talent on the roster." Teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets are mentioned as possible landing spots.
UPDATE: Friday, Nov. 9 at 1:36 p.m. ET by Rick Weiner
CBS Sports' NFL Insider Mike Freeman says that a number of assistant coaches have confirmed thatGruden has in fact reached out to a number of current NFL assistants posing this hypothetical question: "If I return to the sidelines, would you be interested in joining my staff?"
It's all speculation at this point, but where's there is smoke, there's usually some fire, and we can presume that the unnamed assistants who confirmed this to Freeman likely include some of those that Gruden may have already reached out to.
As Freeman notes, Gruden has yet to comment one way or another on these reports.
--END OF UPDATE--
Howard Eskin of 94 WIP Radio in Philadelphia is reporting that he has heard Gruden wants to coach again. He also gives Eagles fans something to think about.
Could Jon Gruden be the next Eagles head coach. Sources tell me he wants to coach again. IF the Eagles change the NFL assistants r weak,sooo— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) November 8, 2012
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com cautions that the report should be taken with a grain of salt, because Gruden's name often gets mentioned when a head coaching job opens up and he is still in the broadcast booth.
In October 2011, Gruden signed a five-year contract extension with ESPN. Rosenthal's report mentions that there is no definitive word on the language allowing Gruden to get out of the contract if he wanted to return to coaching, though "the network has never said definitively that he can't get out of his deal."
Before being fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009, Gruden was one of the most highly regarded head coaches in the NFL. He led the franchise to its first and only Super Bowl in 2002 after leading the Raiders to the postseason the previous two seasons.
Keep an eye on some of these big-market coaches on the hot seat. The whispers around Gruden could start to get a little louder over the next two months.