On Saturday night, ESPN reported that Davis was prepared to pursue Gruden with a strong offer that could include an ownership stake in the team.
Del Rio said Raiders owner Mark Davis informed him of his firing after Sunday's game.
The Raiders likely won't be able to pry Gruden out of the ESPN booth until after Saturday afternoon's AFC Wild Card game between the No. 4 Kansas City Chiefs and the No. 5 Tennessee Titans. "Because I'm a competitor, and he'd say the same thing".
He now makes around $6.5 million a year as the color analyst on Monday Night Football along with recurring segments on ESPN such as "Gruden's QB Camp along with NFL Draft and some college football coverage". In fact, Del Rio is one of only seven coaches in Raiders franchise history to depart with a winning record, along with Al Davis (23-16-3), John Rauch (33-8-1), John Madden (103-32-7), Tom Flores (83-53), Art Shell (56-52) and Gruden (38-26). I take a lot every year from coaches, some others.
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The two have worked together before, so much so that Morton considers Gruden a mentor.
One ownership source told ESPN that the owners "might not be so quick to approve the deal" because they wouldn't want to set a precedent. "When he knows, I think we'll all know".
As such, it figures to be a busy off-season in the Bay Area as the team prepares to move to Las Vegas for the 2020 season. Per their report, Gruden is going to get in the range of $10 million per year. He would go on to become the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl in his first season with the Buccaneers after the trade.
But Del Rio's decision to fire coordinator Bill Musgrave after last season despite a dynamic offense and replace him with quarterbacks coach Todd Downing backfired. The NFL's finance committee also would have to vet Gruden, and it would be that body, along with input from several owners, that would be responsible for raising an objection to an ownership clause.
While getting fired and rumors of getting fired go with the territory, it's a shame that Del Rio finds himself in the middle of this. Del Rio had been the ninth coach in Oakland since Gruden left but the only one to get the team to the playoffs. Us as players, we need to do better.