Credit: Sports Illustrated

Now that #Grumors are officially dead at the college level (for another year), it’s time to crank up the NFL version. And this one’s a doozy.

According to a report Saturday night from Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, the Oakland Raiders are preparing to make a run at Jon Gruden with a package that includes giving him a slice of the ownership pie. From the report:

Oakland is preparing to pursue ESPN analyst Jon Gruden with an offer so strong it could even include an ownership stake in the Raiders, according to league sources.

Gruden will be tempted to accept it, according to sources, but would prefer not to make any decisions until the regular season finishes Sunday and the Raiders make a final determination on their current head coach, Jack Del Rio, who signed a contract extension last summer.

The report did not state just how large a slice Gruden would be cut, but the important thing is that it would give him privileges reserved for ownership. That is, power over the coaching staff and the front office.

Two interesting points also come out of this:

1) Any deal involving team ownership would have to be approved by all 31 other owners, and Gruden would have to pass a vetting by the NFL’s finance committee.

2) Gruden’s agent, Bob LaMonte, is also Jack Del Rio’s agent.

The Raiders are 6-8 this season and close out the 2017 campaign at the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. The Raiders are 25-20 in Del Rio’s 3-year tenure, which includes a 12-4 mark with a playoff appearance last season.

If Del Rio is moved upon, the Oakland job is said to appeal to Gruden for a number of reasons. He coached the club from 1998-01 — then owned by Al Davis, and now Al’s son Mark — and never experienced a losing record in his four seasons, including a trip to the AFC Championship in 2000. Anyone who has ever seen Gruden broadcast knows the man has an affinity for quarterbacks, and he is said to be intrigued by the Raiders’ Derek Carr, a 26-year-old who signed a $125 million contract this summer. The club is also preparing for a move to Las Vegas in 2020, and a Raiders team coached by Chucky himself certainly makes them a more interesting show.

Of course, this is Jon Gruden we’re talking about, and everything that’s being said now has been said before. Gruden has reportedly made calls to active NFL coaches about joining a potential staff… but he’s done that before and yet he still works for ESPN.

Perhaps that will turn out to be the case here too. But perhaps it won’t, and there’s actually something to it this time around.

That’s what makes #Grumors so fun.

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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.