Remember when Jon Gruden was involved in that bizarre trade from the Oakland Raiders to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002? Well the man they call Chucky is doing it again when it come to the strange and usual. As of the moment, Gruden has an offer on the table to become the next head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, and if he does, he’ll get something massive in return that goes well beyond a fat payday.
Should Gruden accept the head coaching job at Tennessee, new Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam (who’s from Tennessee and is a huge Vols booster) is offering Gruden an ownership stake in the Browns.
Talk about sweetening the deal.
Gruden loves the NFL, and he’s been itching to get back to coaching for a while now, but if he wasn’t already going to return to the sidelines at the collegiate level, he’s all but certain to now.
However, there seems to be a massive road block that could derail the master plan. Gruden was fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008 before his contract expired, and he may still be owed money by the Glazers. The problem arises in that the NFL isn’t sure it’s legal within league rules for a person to coach a college team, get paid by that university and by an NFL franchise all while owning part of another one.
Here’s another road block: the mafia known as the NCAA.
In order to comply with NCAA rules, the ownership stake in the Browns would have to be gifted to the University of Tennessee first before it can be given to Gruden. And again, the NCAA isn’t fond of outside compensation, which would be the exact case if the Glazers were to pay Gruden money they still owe him.
Really the Glazers could just keep the money (which is going to be really hard to convince them to do), but there again is another question in that can an owner an a coach agree to not pay out termination pay if the coach doesn’t want it?
This is just a bizarre scenario all around, but hey the Bucs won a Super Bowl as a result of the last crazy coaching scheme that involved Gruden. That could be an omen for not only the Vols but the Browns as well. Or this could just be a giant mess — you decide.