For years, whenever the end of the NFL season comes around and the firing/hiring season begins there is one name that constantly gets batted around – ESPN commentator Jon Gruden. The former Super Bowl winning coach has talked about heading back to the sidelines someday. This has led to his name being at the top of everyone's list come hiring time, but no one has managed to reel him in.
As it turns out, there is a very good reason why he has yet to take another head coaching job. In fact, there are 6.5 million reasons why he will likely never return to coaching: That is how much the Monday Night Football analyst and host of Jon Gruden's QB Camp makes from ESPN – $6.5 million.
It sounds like a lot for a company that keeps trying to cut costs and has been laying people off of late to pay one person, but you have to pay the talent to keep the talent. When he was in Tampa Bay, he only made $4 million, so it is definitely more lucrative for him to be in the booth right now.
There is a chance that he could make more as a coach. There are currently six NFL head coaches who are making $6 million a season or more: Pete Carroll ($8M), Sean Payton ($8M), Bill Belichick ($7.5M), Andy Reid ($7.5M), John Harbaugh ($7M) and Tom Coughlin ($7M).
Would anyone really want to pay a guy who has been out of coaching since 2008 as much as the aforementioned coaches? Gruden was great in his day, but his day was almost a decade ago, so it is hard to imagine anyone offering him as much as he is making now, let alone more.
Then again, with the money that NBA owners have been throwing at new head coaches with no previous coaching experience (let alone head coaching experience), what's to say NFL owners might not fall victim to the same insanity?
Even if someone did offer him something in the $6-8 million range, there is no reason to think he would take it. Right now, he makes great money to talk football, analyze film, hang out with football players, and all the other cool stuff coaches do. He only works about half of the year, and he doesn't have to worry about getting fired every January because his team had an awful season.
When he is already worth $22.5 million and making $6.5 million, would it be worth another $500,000-1.5 million to take on the stress and have no job security just to coach again?