â†µIt's funny to read all the team-specific bloggers use the news that Jon Gruden has signed an 'exclusive' multi-year deal with ESPN as the end of their 2010 seasons. â†µâ†µ
â†µThere goes the Redskins next coach. Or the Browns. Or the Panthers or Bills or Titans or Raiders – wait, scratch that last one. â†µ
â†µPer ESPN's release: â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥Super Bowl-winning head coach Jon Gruden, who joined ESPN in May as a Monday Night Football analyst, has agreed to an exclusive multi-year agreement with the company. Gruden has made a commitment to remain with ESPN. â†µâ‡¥â†µHere's the thing about this press release; it makes news without really saying anything – always the sign of good PR – other than the news that Gruden will be doing radio for the 2010 Rose Bowl and BCS title game. As for the 'multi-year' agreement, the release neglects to tell us how many years 'multi' really is. Is the rest of 2009 and the first month of 2010 enough to qualify the agreement as 'multi-year?' â†µ
â†µâ‡¥In addition to his MNF role alongside play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico and analyst Ron Jaworski, Gruden will appear on ESPN’s NFL Draft and Super Bowl week coverage, among other platforms, and he will call the 2010 NFL Pro Bowl in South Florida on January 31, 2010. Gruden will serve as an analyst for ESPN Radio’s 2010 Rose Bowl and Bowl Championship Series (BCS) title game broadcasts, where he will team with Tirico, and he will be part of SportsCenter coverage leading up to the ESPN on ABC telecasts of both games. â†µâ‡¥â†µ
â†µIn addition, the release explains that the multi-year deal Gruden has agreed to is an 'exclusive' deal. I reached out to ESPN spokesman Bill Hofheimer to help understand what 'exclusive' really means. Is the deal 'media exclusive' – meaning he can't go work for FOX during the BCS games – or is it 'exclusive' for any job? Does this contract extension really preclude Gruden from entertaining NFL coaching jobs? â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥"Without getting into the terms of the deal, I will just say this," Hofheimer responded. "Jon is committed to MNF for multiple years and his decision to sign this extension is a clear indication of his commitment to ESPN. He will not be seeking any coaching positions for the foreseeable future. We expect to have him here at ESPN for a long time." â†µâ†µIt looks like Gruden will enjoy sleeping at home, and not his office, for a few more years.â†µ
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