Jon Gruden has notified his staff that he’ll be resigning as head coach of the Raiders, reports NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). Gruden also met with Mark Davis to inform the owner of his decision (per Pelissero).
The resignation comes in the wake of a weekend Wall Street Journal report that detailed Gruden’s use of a racial trope to describe NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith in old emails. Then tonight, the New York Times published a damning report that cited more emails showcasing the coach’s use of derogatory and offensive language. This included (and was not limited to) crude remarks about commissioner Roger Goodell, gay NFL players, female referees, and Washington cheerleaders. The emails in question were sent to former Washington executive Bruce Allen, and the league was only aware of the emails because of the previous investigation into the Washington Football Team.
That WSJ report was published on Saturday, and despite the negative reaction, Gruden was still allowed to coach during the Raiders loss to the Bears yesterday. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter), the NFL had forwarded the Raiders the emails that were cited in tonight’s NYT article, and the league was waiting for the organization to react. Per Jason La Canfora (on Twitter), the league was ready to step in if the Raiders didn’t punish their head coach.
It’s a remarkable and swift fall for Gruden, who was on the fourth year of a 10-year, $100MM contract he signed with the Raiders in 2018. Gruden wasn’t able to guide the Raiders to the postseason during his three full seasons with the organization, going 19-29 and peaking with an 8-8 season in 2020. The Raiders were 3-2 through the first chunk of the 2021 campaign.
“I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” Gruden said in a statement (via Vic Tafur of The Athletic on Twitter). “I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”
Gruden got his first head coaching gig in Oakland in 1998, and he was at the helm of two playoff teams during his four-year stint. He joined the Buccaneers via an iconic trade in 2002, and he won a Super Bowl during his first season with the organization. Gruden would ultimately spend seven seasons in Tampa Bay, and he turned to a high-profile TV gig after getting fired by the Bucs in 2009.
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