The Raiders released their coach after a disappointing season in 2017.

OAKLAND (CBSSPORTS) — The Raiders decided to fire Jack Del Rio following the team’s 30-10 loss to the Chargers, Del Rio said in his postgame press conference.

Del Rio, in his third year running the Raiders, saw the team take a massive step back after a 12-win season in 2016. Derek Carr suffered an injury, the whole team basically regressed and the defense did not get any better.

There’s also the elephant in the room: Jon Gruden.

The ESPN broadcaster has long been rumored to have an interest in returning to coach somewhere in the NFL, but it’s been mostly smoke and no fire.

Make no mistake about it, the decision to fire Del Rio is strictly about trying to convince Gruden to make a return to Oakland, where he coached before being traded to the Buccaneers.

These Gruden rumors have been lurking for months, weeks and years, with Gruden connected to both the Buccaneers and the Raiders in recent weeks.

A report on Sunday indicated the Raiders would be willing to offer as much as an ownership stake when it came to convincing Gruden to come back. Gruden shrugged off the rumors as much as Gruden ever does, but did not flat-out refute them.

These GRUMORS are not just chatter anymore. This is a real situation to monitor, with the Raiders desperate to land Gruden after canning Del Rio and hoping that the one-time Super Bowl winner can reinvigorate the Raiders as they head to Las Vegas.

— Will Brinson

(CBS Sports is a registered trademark of CBS Broadcasting Inc.)

  1. Most of the Raider problem started when the black Oakland Raider’s offensive line purposefully slacked off and let their white quarterback be beaten up by the opposing team (Washington Redskins) September 24th earlier this season for not “taking a knee”.

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