I honestly thought that Jon Gruden would stay with MNF for one year, and then roll out to a team in need of a head coach (*ahem* Redskins!), but that’s definitely not the case. Gruden has signed a multi-year deal to stay with the network….
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.
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.
“Working with Mike, Jaws and our entire Monday Night Football team is the most fun I have had in years, and I am fired up to make this long-term commitment to ESPN,” said Gruden. “Monday Night Football is special and I look forward to remaining a part of it and continuing to call these great games.”
While there’s no mention of a “coaching clause”, there’s no reason to believe he’d re-sign if he wanted to immediately return to coaching. I’m still conflicted on how I feel about him as an announcer, but the move makes sense for ESPN. Even though there are times when he goes overboard with emotion and analogies, he’s still better than Kornheiser.