The Associated Press ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders never really recovered from the decision to trade coach Jon Gruden to Tampa Bay 16 years ago.
There was a Super Bowl trip the following season when Oakland lost to Gruden’s Buccaneers, and another playoff appearance in 2016 under Jack Del Rio that garnered little optimism because quarterback Derek Carr was injured.
But there has been mostly a run of losing seasons under nine coaches as only the Cleveland Browns had lost more games during Gruden’s 16-year absence than the Raiders.
Owner Mark Davis hopes that will all change now that he has finally lured Gruden back for a second stint as the team’s coach.
A person with knowledge of the team’s plans said the Raiders are planning a news conference Tuesday to announce that Gruden is leaving the broadcast booth to come back to coaching.
The Raiders fired Del Rio following a disappointing six-win season and talk immediately turned to Gruden, who has been out of coaching since being fired by Tampa Bay following the 2008 season.
Gruden has spent the past nine years as the lead analyst for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” telecast. He is scheduled to work his final game Saturday in Kansas City when the Chiefs take on the Tennessee Titans in a playoff game.
Then after that he will head to Oakland with the task of resurrecting Carr after a down year and getting the Raiders back to the postseason.
ESPN reported that Gruden will receive a 10-year deal that could be worth close to $100 million. Gruden has already started putting together a staff with Cincinnati defensive coordinator Paul Guenther among those expected to join.
Gruden told ESPN earlier this week that he had a good talk with Davis about returning to the organization and believed there was a “good chance” it would happen.
Gruden spent four seasons as coach in Oakland from 1998-2001. His tenure ended shortly after the “Tuck Rule” loss to the New England Patriots when he was traded the following month to Tampa Bay for two first-round draft picks, two second-rounders and $8 million.
Brown heads AP All-Pro team
In other NFL news, Antonio Brown was one of four repeaters from last season on The Associated Press 2017 NFL All-Pro Team, and the only unanimous choice.
The brilliant wide receiver of the Pittsburgh Steelers drew all 50 ballots Friday from a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league. Brown missed the last two-plus games with an ankle injury.
He was among four players to make a fourth All-Pro squad, joining New England tight end Rob Gronkowski, Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly and Los Angeles Rams punter Johnny Hekker.
The repeaters from 2016 were Rams interior defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who got 49 votes, and punter Johnny Hekker; and Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner.
In their turnaround season, the Rams led the way with six All-Pros, including two more specialists: kicker Greg Zuerlein and kick returner Pharoh Cooper. Running back Todd Gurley and left tackle Andrew Whitworth were honored.
“Dang, that’s crazy. It means a lot, honestly,” said Gurley, who likely would have led the league in rushing had he played in LA’s finale. “It’s a blessing. I’ve got so much respect for everybody in this league, and to be in this position just means so much to me.”
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his third All-Pro team.
Three Steelers joined Brown on the roster: Le’Veon Bell as the flex, interior defensive lineman Cam Heyward, and right guard David DeCastro. No other team had more than two All-Pros, with the stronger NFC getting 18 players and the AFC 10.