Jay and Jon...what a pair!
Many a "football guy" have gone on to be great general managers. Make no mistake about it - Jon Gruden is a heck of a football guy. Although he's never held the position of general manager in his official title, he's had plenty to say about personnel in his 17 year in the NFL.
In 1990, he worked for the great Carmen Policy in San Francisco as an offensive assistant. After a brief stop at the University of Pittsburgh, he returned to the NFL and began making his name as a coach in Green Bay under Mike Holmgren and GM Ron Wolf. It was here he honed the skills necessary to succeed as the head man in the NFL.
Gruden quickly quickly became known as a great offensive mind, and was soon plucked by Eagles coach Ray Rhodes, a former Green Bay assistant in his own right, to become the team's offensive coordinator. At the time of Gruden's hiring in Philadelphia, Rhodes was acting GM of the team, and Gruden was there to absorb the knowledge that Ray had to share.
Jon's time in Philly lasted only three years, as he was chosen by Al Davis to become the head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 1998. Gruden worked for four years under the Hall of Fame owner/general manager, compiling a 38-26 regular season record and two playoff appearances. In 2002 he was traded to Tampa Bay in exchange for the Bucs 2002 and 2003 first round picks, 2002 and 2004 second round picks and cash. He remained in Tampa for seven years, winning Super Bowl XXXVII. During his time with the Bucs, Gruden worked under Rich McKay(2002) and Bruce Allen(2003-2008).
Upon parting ways with the Buccaneers after the 2008 season, Gruden was hired as a color analyst for ESPN's Monday Night Football in 2009, where he remains today. He also hosts Jon Gruden's QB Camp, where he takes the draft's top signal callers through an intense white-board/film session and on-field workout prior to the NFL Draft.
Gruden does not have front office experience, but what he lacks in that area, he makes up for in outstanding football acumen and his ability to realize and develop talent. Gruden's past experience in college helps him understand the talent evaluation process from the ground up, as he was an important recruiter for Pitt in 1991. He understands talent when he sees it, and is known for maximizing that talent on the gridiron.
Gruden's ties to Redskins team president Bruce Allen, and current head coach Jay Gruden would make him an attractive candidate. There should be no power struggle here between the two Grudens, as they could simply take their bickering behind the wood shed the old fashioned way, and settle things like brothers do! As for getting along with Bruce Allen - Jon has worked with him in the past, and stays involved in helping his brother's team whenever possible. Gruden and Allen have a mutual respect for one another which should translate well to the executive world. Jon however, is not a "yes man", so I would assume his voice would carry some significant weight within the organization.
It has been reported that Gruden's contract with ESPN pays him north of $6 million/year, which is just slightly less than the salaries of Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll, Andy Reid and Sean Payton to name a few. So why would Gruden take almost half of what he makes now to come to a team full of drama to be their general manager?
Answer - the competitive itch. Even though Gruden is under contract with ESPN until 2021, some have surmised that there must be certain opt-out clauses in that contract in case he ever wanted to return to the NFL in some capacity. He's already proven he could win as a head coach at the highest level, so the next step in the progression of a typical alpha-male is to prove you can take a smoldering franchise back to prominence as a front office leader.
Maybe it's just this sort of challenge that could pull Gruden away from the broadcast booth, and satisfy the large ego he still has.
Could Jon Gruden as the next Redskins GM be a match made in Hogs Heaven?