It’s a good thing Jon Gruden doesn’t have to coexist with his colleagues much longer.
The analyst joined “Golic & Wingo” on Wednesday morning and further confirmed his interest in becoming the next coach of the Raiders — “I think there’s a good chance [I’d take the job],” he said — but denied that a stake in ownership is tied to the job offer in outright refuting his own network’s report.
He singled out Stephen A. Smith’s patented rant blasting the idea, which ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen originally reported.
“There’s no truth to that at all,” Gruden said. “I heard Stephen Smith screaming at me on TV yesterday on one of his shows. There’s no validity to that at all. None, zero. That’s a nice segment that I saw, but no, no ownership, that’s for sure.”
According to Schefter and Mortensen, Raiders owner Mark Davis previously had dangled an ownership stake in past offers to Gruden and was prepared to do so again this time.
Smith, meanwhile, was not a fan of the reported condition.
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“Jon Gruden does not deserve an ownership stake in an NFL franchise,” he said Tuesday on “First Take” about his Worldwide Leader coworker. “Not unless he’s coming out of pocket with his own money and investing and they vet you and let you in. He does not deserve to have an ownership stake in a franchise. It should not be allowed. … It shouldn’t even be brought to the table.”
Gruden claimed he was still in the dark about the Raiders’ final decision, but did give a nod to Schefter and Mortensen for their reporting that the team was pursuing him — the same story that included the nugget about a stake in ownership.
“I have had conversations with Mark and they’re still, I believe, going through the interview process,” Gruden said. “When he knows, I think we’ll all know. But I appreciate Adam’s and Chris’ confidence that I have a chance of getting that job. It’s awful nice of them.”
For the record, Smith doesn’t have an issue with all NFL coaches potentially getting a share of ownership.
“If Bill Belichick somehow, someway had an ownership stake, you ain’t going to hear me say a damn word,” Smith said.
Just not Gruden.