It would be a shocker if Gruden doesn't join Allen with 'Skins
Here's a good bar bet: Jon Gruden will be the next coach of the Washington Redskins.
In case you haven't heard, the Redskins hired former Bucs general manager Bruce Allen as their top executive to replace Vinny Cerrato, the executive vice president of football operations.
Allen has long-standing ties to the Redskins, obviously. His father, George, coached the Redskins from 1971-77. He also grew up in McLean, Va.
Gruden recently agreed to a multi-year deal to remain with ESPN's Monday Night Football as an analyst. But if you know anything about Gruden, he longs to return to coaching in the NFL.
If you know anything about Allen, he has never held a position of authority without working for Gruden.
His two stops in the NFL were with the Raiders and Bucs when Gruden coached those teams. Sure, there was the 2002-03 season when Allen worked with Raiders head coach Bill Callahan. By the start of '04, Allen was on his way to Tampa Bay.
Over the past few months, you can imagine Allen and Gruden at the 19th hole in Avila, where they both own homes, plotting their return to the NFL over a few cold ones.
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder needs to hire a proven head coach with a Super Bowl ring after the failed experiment with Jim Zorn, who will be fired at the end of the season. . There's a few of those men available -- Mike Shanahan, Bill Cowher, Mike Holmgren and Gruden.
It's hard to imagine those other men would sign off to have Allen run the football operations. Gruden, on the other hand, would probably insist on it.
In the next few days, you will likely hear Gruden repeat how committed he is to remaining at ESPN. Until the Redskins hire another coach, I'm not buying it. Television can't replace the ego rush of coaching in the NFL for Gruden. Frankly, he's pretty good at it. No matter what you think of the job he did in Tampa Bay, he won NFC South titles and Super Bowl XXXVII. He was fired after back-to-back 9-7 seasons.
But Gruden has flaws and things did not get better for him in Tampa after he hired Allen. Just look at some of the draft picks under their administration: Michael Clayton, Gaines Adams and Dexter Jackson, to name a few.
It's a good day for the Glazer family, however. Both Allen and Gruden had three years remaining on their contracts when they were fired by the Bucs. The Redskins could begin picking up all or part of that tab.
And that may not be good news for Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik. If the Glazers had reservations about hiring another coach/GM because of the salaries they're already paying for people not to work for them, this could clear that obstacle.
Time will tell, but I can't imagine Snyder hired Allen without knowing who the Redskins next head coach will be.