Jon Gruden Could Be Nearing NFL Return, but Not With Raiders: Report

jon gruden

Getty Former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.

Another former Las Vegas Raider is on the New Orleans Saints‘ radar. Last offseason, the team brought in former Raiders Derek Carr, Foster Moreau and Johnathan Abram. That’s not to mention that former Raiders head coach Dennis Allen is currently the team’s head coach.

Now they appear to be ready to bring in another former head coach from Las Vegas. According to Jeff Duncan of, the Saints have met with Jon Gruden about him possibly joining the offensive staff.

“The Saints are expected to make changes to their coaching staff in the wake of their disappointing 2023 season, and former NFL head coach Jon Gruden is being considered as a possible addition, sources said Monday,” Duncan wrote in a January 8 column.

“Gruden, a Super Bowl-winning coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, recently visited with Saints officials during the team’s Week 17 road trip to Tampa, Florida, where Gruden has a home. He attended a team meeting the night before the Saints’ game against the Buccaneers and dined with staff, including Loomis, at a local restaurant later that evening, sources said.”

It doesn’t appear this would be in the offensive coordinator role as Pete Carmichael hasn’t been fired. Gruden would likely just be a consultant on offense.

Should New Orleans Saints Hire Jon Gruden?

The biggest issue with potentially hiring Jon Gruden is the fact that he’s currently suing the NFL. The court date is set for January 10 so the issue can be resolved soon but that’s far from a guarantee. While that could complicate whether or not Gruden gets a job, it’s easy to understand why the Saints would want to bring him on.

It was an up-and-down season for the offense under Derek Carr. The veteran quarterback had his best years under Gruden so the coach knows how to utilize him. Despite having a lot of offensive talent, the Saints finished 14th in the NFL in yards per game (337.2).

The team also finished 9-8 and missed the playoffs in the weakest division in the NFL. The Saints have good players but need more consistency on offense. If the team still isn’t sold on Pete Carmichael as offensive coordinator, it would be easier to install Gruden as the play-caller during the season if he’s already on staff.

Could Jon Gruden Get HC Job?

Since getting hired as the Raiders head coach in 1998, Jon Gruden hasn’t held any other position in the NFL. Serving as an offensive consultant for the Saints would be a big step down for Gruden. However, could he hold out for a potential head coaching job? With the Tennessee Titans firing Mike Vrabel, there are six head coaching jobs open in the NFL.

The problem Gruden faces is that he went 22-31 in his second stint as the Raiders head coach. Now, Raiders owner Mark Davis is still a big fan of Gruden and could consider bringing him back but he’s likely the only owner willing to make that move.

Not only is Gruden’s recent track record, but he brings a level of controversy along with him due to the NFL lawsuit. It’s hard to see a future where Gruden is a head coach again in the NFL unless he does join the Saints and the offense takes a major step forward next season.

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