On tonight’s telecast of Monday Night Football, Mike Tirico informed the audience that Jon Gruden has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him with ESPN through 2021 (Twitter link). Gruden’s new deal won’t keep him from pursuing NFL jobs in the future, according to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (on Twitter), but it does take him out of the running for coaching jobs for the 2015 season, for all intents and purposes.
It’s a good piece of news for those who enjoy Gruden’s work in the booth on Monday nights, but maybe not such good news for the Raiders and owner Mark Davis. Since the very moment that Dennis Allen was dismissed by Oakland, Gruden has said to be the club’s No. 1 choice to take over on the sidelines. Now, assuming the Raiders do not give interim head coach Tony Sparano the permanent job, they’ll have to turn their attention to other candidates. Polarizing 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh could be available and is said to want to stay in the Bay Area. Rex Ryan, another strong personality, is a mortal lock to be available as well, provided that he doesn’t join Gruden on TV.