SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports' Lindsay H. Jones breaks down the matchups that will determine which teams will reach the postseason. USA TODAY Sports
Oakland Raiders‘ coach Jon Gruden celebrates with fans after the Raiders‘ 30-21 victory over the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Dec. 5, 1999, in Oakland, Calif.(Photo: Associated Press)
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Saturday night that the Oakland Raiders are preparing to woo NFL analyst Jon Gruden back to the sidelines with a lucrative deal that could even make him a part-owner of the team.
Gruden would be “temped to accept” such an offer from the Raiders but would hesitate to make any decisions until after the team‘s regular-season finale Sunday, , which has employed Gruden as an analyst since 2009.
“I don‘t want to sit here and speculate. … There is no news to report,” Gruden. “I can‘t say I haven‘t taken any phone calls. I take a lot every year from coaches, some others. … Yeah, sometimes owners. Guys want to bounce ideas off me. I‘m here to help people.”
Gruden previously coached the Raiders for four seasons from 1998 through 2001, with the team never finishing worse than 8-8 during that span. He has been out of coaching since 2009, when he was fired after seven seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including a Super Bowl title in 2002.
As he transitioned from coaching to the broadcast booth, the 54-year-old has still been a constant subject of coaching rumors. This year, he and there was speculation — primarily wishful thinking from University of Tennessee fans — that he .
One potential complication with the Raiders is the fact that current coach Jack Del Rio was just in February. Another wrinkle: The Raiders are , though they will remain in California at least through 2018.
Tom Schad at tschad or on Twitter .
PHOTOS: Best NFL celebrations
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JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a snowball after a 20-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter during the game against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field. Justin K. Aller, Getty Images Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton pretends to light a candle on top of the football after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Bob Donnan, USA TODAY Sports Seattle Seahawks cornerback Justin Coleman jumps out of a Salvation Army kettle after returning an interception for a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in the third quarter at AT&T Stadium. Tim Heitman, USA TODAY Sports The Detroit Lions bust out a Rockettes-inspired TD celebration after T.J. Jones scored against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Tim Fuller, USA TODAY Sports Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward (26) and his teammates celebrate an interception in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Tim Heitman, USA TODAY Sports Minnesota Vikings players celebrate a touchdown by quarterback Case Keenum (7) during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions by imitating a Thanksgiving meal at Ford Field. Tim Fuller, USA TODAY Sports Pittsburgh Steelers safety Robert Golden (20) celebrates his fourth quarter interception against the Tennessee Titans with the defense at Heinz Field. Philip G. Pavely, USA TODAY Sports Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) celebrates with teammates after his second quarter touchdown against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah (21) mimics the viral “Salt Bae” video” with wide receiver Marvin Jones (11) wide receiver T.J. Jones (13) and wide receiver Golden Tate (15) after running for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field. Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) hugs the goalpost as he celebrates this touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. Alex Brandon, AP Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) pretends to participate in a sack race as he celebrates catching a touchdown pass as tight end Demetrius Harris (84) watches in the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. Michael Ainsworth, AP Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le‘Veon Bell (26) celebrates his rushing touchdown against the Detroit Lions by pretending to do bench press reps. Paul Sancya, AP New Orleans Saints players celebrate after an interception by safety Kenny Vaccaro (32) in the fourth quarter during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Benny Sieu, USA TODAY Sports Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (center) mimics the “Cool Runnings” bobsled routine to celebrate a touchdown with teammates Randall Cobb (L) and Jordy Nelson (R) against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half of their game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, USA, 08 October 2017. LARRY W. SMITH, EPA-EFE Tennessee Titans inside linebacker Wesley Woodyard (59) celebrates with teammates after Woodyard brought down Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett to stop a Colts‘ drive late in the fourth quarter. James Kenney, AP Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) celebrates his touchdown by playing duck, duck, goose with teammates during the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Patrick Gorski, Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports Torrey Smith of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals with teammates Nelson Agholor, Alshon Jeffery and Carson Wentz as they pretend to play baseball, hitting it ‘out of the park‘ in during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on October 8, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mitchell Leff, Getty Images Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) celebrates in a nod to Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith after a sack with cornerback Jamar Taylor (21) and outside linebacker Christian Kirksey (58) during the first half against the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium. Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports Jason Kelce leads a group spike with teammate Nelson Agholor of the Philadelphia Eagles after a fourth quarter touchdown against the Carolina Panthers. Streeter Lecka, Getty Images Sep 18, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. (11) celebrates his TD reception with teammate Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate (15) at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-358874 [Via MerlinFTP Drop] Robert Deutsch, Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster does a Dragon Ball Z celebration after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Evan Habeeb, USA TODAY Sports Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) celebrates by pretending to take a nap after scoring during the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Arrowhead Stadium. Denny Medley, Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports Devonta Freeman of the Atlanta Falcons mimics shooting a free throw after scoring a 1-yard rushing touchdown during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 17, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images
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