ESPN pays Jon Gruden $6.5 million a year, according to Jim Miller, a reporter and author who has made a career for himself by knowing lots of stuff about ESPN and Saturday Night Live.
$6.5 million is an unbelievable amount of money to pay someone for basically calling one game a week plus being the titular star of Gruden’s QB Camp. Even if we allow for a moment that Gruden is the best color analyst in the business, it seems likely that the pay gap between Gruden and the next-best color analyst is not commensurate with the pay gap.
But ESPN isn’t just competing with other networks to keep Jon Gruden; the Super Bowl-winning coach has seemingly been linked to every major college and NFL position that has come open since Tampa Bay fired him in 2009. For the 2015 season, the median NFL coach salary is $5 million. Nick Saban, the highest-paid college coach, makes more than $7 million.
You’re probably going to have to match that $6.5 million figure to make it worth Gruden’s while to come coach your team. And at that point you have to wonder if you want to pay that much money for a coach who has been out of the game since the Bush administration.
No wonder no one can lure him back to the sidelines…….