Jon Gruden is the ultimate infomercial, he is a constant motivator always trying to sell you something regarding his plan. He has a built in hyperbole about him that makes everything he says and does larger than life compared to the standards you see in NFL circles. Now he is even coming with a no cost guarantee, don’t like what you see and you don’t owe him another dime!
He made that proclamation this past Tuesday by saying that if the Raiders don’t “get it done” under him then he won’t take his record breaking 10-year, $100M salary. Remember, NFL coach salaries are fully guaranteed so he is due that $100M whether he succeeds and coaches the next 10 years or fails and is gone in a handful.
“If I can’t get it done, I’m not going to take their money,” Gruden told Jarrett Bell of the USA Today.
That’s noble of him to say, but it’s pretty far fetched to believe. It’s much more likely just hyperbole based off of his supreme confidence in his future success. It’s not like he put a deadline or barometers with it for the Raiders to hold him to his word either, though you certainly know failure when you see it. Oakland fans do anyway, we’ve had more than our fair share of it since Gruden left the Raiders the first time.
No, Gruden isn’t going to not accept his salary when the check arrives. Not now, not ever. He’s willing to say that now because he believes in himself and this team’s potential for success. It’s easy to make a throw away comment like that when entering a long term commitment because there’s so much more time ahead. There isn’t the pressure of the hot seat, Gruden’s seat is the coldest seat an NFL coach has ever had.
It’s also a needed deflection of the pressure of his contract. What better way to show he does not care about the added pressures he is facing after his record breaking, 10-year contract than to say the money doesn’t matter? Now that the contract to get him out of the Monday Night Football broadcast booth is signed, the money really doesn’t matter anyway. It’s only about winning and doing the best job he can do now that he agreed to coach again.
There is absolutely no reason to bother thinking about contract stuff in year one of the decade long deal. Do you even realize how long a decade is? George W. Bush was still the President 10 years ago, that’s how long a decade is. Not only that, but if none of us are guaranteed tomorrow than we sure as hell are not guaranteed 10 years from now. That fact isn’t lost on Gruden either.
“Who guarantees I’m going to live 10 years?” Gruden continued. “So I don’t think about that. You start thinking about a 10-year contract – people don’t know how it’s structured and it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is, ‘Is Khalil Mack going to be here? Is Donald Penn going to be ready to play?’ I’ve got more important things to worry about than eight years of my contract.”
He is exactly right about that, of course. Khalil Mack’s contract is definitely the number one concern right now, not Gruden’s. Though Mack is required to show tomorrow, he won’t be and that is the top thing to worry about for the Raiders. Gruden’s contract and whether he accepts the money if he fails years from now is so far down the list of concerning matters that it’s laughable.
The media is going through and lambasting him all over again for his comment on not taking the money anyway but the reality is that there is a whole lot of time before anything like that would even matter. He has his first season back after a 17 year absence from the Raiders organization, that’s enough to worry about without trying to consider all 10 years of his contract.