Raiders

Raiders

Like it or not, but Jack Del Rio was just a placeholder until Raiders owner Mark Davis got the guy he wanted.

It took a few years and many tries, but Davis finally got Jon Gruden to leave the TV booth following the 2017 season.

Davis fired Del Rio after the Raiders finished 6-10 in his third season, despite rewarding the coach with a new four-year contract the year prior.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Del Rio spoke about how often he heard from Davis regarding the pursuit of Gruden.

Spoiler alert: Del Rio heard about it A LOT.

“He was always very straightforward with the fact that he was in love with Jon, and if he had the chance, he was going to hire him,” Del Rio told SI's Jenny Vrentas and Greg Bishop. “He said it every chance he got.”

Del Rio led the Raiders to a 25-23 record over three seasons, but hasn't coached since Davis fired him.

When Davis got Gruden to agree to re-take the Raiders job, he gave the coach a 10-year contract worth $100 million.

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Davis got what he wanted with Gruden's return, but it came at the expense of Del Rio -- someone who grew up a Raiders fan in the East Bay. 

 

It was a brutal way for Del Rio's tenure to end, and we're sure it still stings to this day.