It was no easy task for Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis to get head coach Jon Gruden to come out of retirement and return to the sidelines. Along with that, it cost him a pretty penny to lure the coach out of retirement. After all, Forbes reported back during Gruden’s days as an ESPN analyst that he was the highest-paid personality at the company.
And as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, the Raiders did indeed break the bank for Gruden, as the coach agreed to a 10-year, $100 million deal.
While a contract that size is certainly incredible, Gruden himself has actually gone into denial mode over the actual amount it’s worth at various points. Let’s check out a few interesting details that stand out from Gruden’s contract and things that have come to light since he returned to the team in January.
Jon Gruden Denied His Contract Is Worth $100 Million
It’s worth noting that the exact contract sizes of NFL coaches are not made public. Unlike players, there’s no way to actually know the terms or structure of any deal a coach signs. But in an interview with Peter King in his “Football Morning in America” column, Gruden somewhat denied the reported number.
“I’m not making $100 million, just so you know,” he told King.
Is there reason to believe Gruden? Maybe, but without any way to actually prove that, it seems like a longshot that Schefter just threw out the $100 million number without information backing it up.
Gruden Said He Won’t Take Raiders’ Money if He “Can’t Get It Done”
During an interview with USA TODAY’s Jarrett Bell, Gruden made the bold claim that he won’t take the team’s money if he can’t get the job done. He also elaborated somewhat on the actual deal but didn’t give much information on the size of it.
“If I can’t get it done, I’m not going to take their money,” Gruden told USA TODAY.
“Who guarantees I’m going to live 10 years?” he said. “So I don’t think about that. You start thinking about a 10-year contract – people don’t know how it’s structured and it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is, ‘Is Khalil Mack going to be here? Is Donald Penn going to be ready to play?’ I’ve got more important things to worry about than eight years of my contract.”
To be clear, this doesn’t mean that Gruden will return the money he gets paid from the Raiders. Realistically, one would have to expect it means the coach wouldn’t continue in his role if unable to help the team turn a corner.
Gruden’s Contract Reportedly Backloaded for the Move to Las Vegas
The pending move of the Raiders to Las Vegas has resulted in rumblings that contracts new players sign could potentially be backloaded. The reason is due to the fact that state income tax in California has a maximum rate of 13.3 percent while Nevada has no state income tax. It seems Gruden’s $100 million deal is also backloaded, as Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio first reported.
The exact breakdown of how his contract is split remains unknown, but Florio and Pro Football Talk reported a ballpark scenario which is apparently close.
“How much less? One league source said that my round-number example of $25 million over the first five years and $75 million over the final five years from PFT PM isn’t that far off the mark. More specifically, the source says the early years are much closer to $5 million annually than $10 million.” Florio wrote.
If this is true, Gruden surely wants to get to Las Vegas quickly, at least for financial reasons. Regardless, an annual salary of $10 million per year is nothing short of incredible.