Coaching Buzz: Jon Gruden Rumors Continue

Yesterday, we brought you a report from Dan Pompei of the National Football Post, which suggested there’s “a good chance” of Jon Gruden becoming the next Eagles head coach.

And today, those rumors continue.

Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com reports that teams have quietly been in contact with Gruden’s representatives the past few weeks. And Gruden could start interviewing with teams as soon as today.

Per Freeman, the two teams to pay special attention to are the San Diego Chargers and (wait for it…) the Philadelphia Eagles.

That’s now two reports in two days linking Gruden to the Birds.

IS O’BRIEN REALLY A CANDIDATE?

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported yesterday that Penn State’s Bill O’Brien is on the Eagles’ short list of coaching candidates. One key with O’Brien is that his contract contains a buyout. And according to David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News, the buyout would be for $18.4 million, not $9.2 million, as previously reported. Jones argues that O’Brien may not want to bolt for the NFL right now, but he wants to have the buyout clause removed from his contract so that he can leave in the future without such significant repercussions.

No, I think it’s about freedom. O’Brien wants to have his options open, to be able to go to the NFL in the future should he so desire. If he and his agent can get the buyout clause removed, then he can pursue his NFL dream after next season or some subsequent one.

Bottom line: I still anticipate O’Brien will coach Penn State in the 2013 season. After that might depend partly upon what gets done – or doesn’t – in the next few weeks.

Mortensen also reports that O’Brien was initially told the program wouldn’t face such stiff NCAA sanctions. And that could be an issue when trying to enforce the buyout.

MOVES MADE TODAY

A rundown of firings as of Monday morning:

Romeo Crennel is out in Kansas City, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Pat Shurmur and Tom Heckert are out in Cleveland, per FoxSports.com’s Jay Glazer.

Mike Tannenbaum is out as GM of the Jets, but Rex Ryan is staying put, per ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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