By Eric Schmidt

In recent years, with coach vacancies in the NFL and college ranks, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden is normally associated with any rumors surrounding the opening. Heading into this offseason for many NFL teams, reports surfaced that the Super Bowl winning head coach would be open to interviewing for a position to return to the sidelines. Eight coaches were fired and now, eight coaches have been hired with Gruden not being one of them.Will he ever return to the NFL?

During this replacement cycle in the NFL, Gruden’s brother, Jay, received more attention than Jon did. Jason LaCanfora reported a source telling him that Gruden really wanted the coaching job in Carolina, with a chance to work with QB Cam Newton. That opportunity never arose.

I thought that Jerry Jones would opt out of the Jason Garrett experiment with the Dallas Cowboys and decide to provide Gruden with one of the highest profile coaching jobs in the world. It might still happen, but it doesn’t seem plausible at this point.

I understand Gruden’s selectivity in choosing a team and picking the right situation in order to return to the sidelines. However, his coaching “juice” might be running out. He’s been out of the game now, going into next season, four years.

Why would he want to return? He has a Super Bowl ring. He has a great job on Monday Night Football. He no longer has to get up at 3 a.m. every morning. If I were him, I’d have my PR team keeping his name in the news just as they are right now and stay firmly planted behind that microphone on MNF. It’s a great gig while living in Florida.

 

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