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Jon Gruden says he never wanted to leave Raiders

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Jon Gruden says he never wanted to leave Raiders

Jon Gruden looks and sounds genuinely excited that he is back in the Bay Area. Speaking in front of reporters, including Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times, during last Tuesday’s press conference, Gruden disclosed that he had no intention of leaving the Oakland Raiders in 2002, the year he was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a package of future picks and cash.

“Obviously, this is every emotional for me,” Gruden said during an introductory press conference that was attended by 50 former Raiders players. “I never wanted to leave the Raiders.  I never thought I’d be back. But here I am and I’m ready to get to work.”

In Gruden’s second marriage with the Raiders, the 54-year-old coach is looking to complete his unfinished business in Oakland, which is to bring a Super Bowl title to the franchise. In his first stint with the team, Gruden was able to guide the team to back-to-back playoff appearances in 2001 and 2002, respectively. Over the course of four years from 1998 to 2002, Gruden accumulated a coaching record of 38-26 in the regular season.

Jon Gruden’s current deal with the Raiders is reportedly worth a whopping $100 million over a span of 10 years. While Gruden stated that the contract does not include an ownership stake, it still is a huge amount that hardly anyone would pass up.

Gruden won a Super Bowl title with the Bucs right after the season he was traded to Tampa Bay. He coached the Buccaneers until the 2008 season before taking a job at ESPN as a football analyst on Monday Night Football.

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