Retired Bills coach astounded by Raiders’ reported 10-year, $100 million deal to Gruden
“If there is a more vigorous word than ‘Astounded’ please feel free to use it in my behalf,’’ Levy told USA TODAY Sports via email. “Ten million a year with a 10-year commitment is beyond belief.’’
Levy said what he knows of Gruden is of “a positive nature,’’ but added, “What happens if, after 3 or 4 years, the Raiders have one losing, non-playoff season after another?’’
Head coach of the Bills from 1986-97, Levy recalled his reaction in 1970 when George Allen was hired by the Washington Redskins and Levy was an assistant on the staff.
“When all of us on the staff who joined him learned that his contract was for a whopping $75,000 a year, we just could not believe that anyone would ever get paid that much to coach football,’’ Levy wrote. “I wonder how much Knute Rockne and Amos Alonzo Stagg got paid.’’
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Kenneth L. Shropshire, who runs the Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University, said Raiders owner Mark Davis didn’t necessarily act recklessly in reportedly awarding Gruden a $100 million deal.
“Like so much in sports, the number provides greater clarity on how big the margins are for profitability,’’ Shropshire told USA TODAY Sports via email. “It’s only irresponsible if Davis can’t afford it. The special factors are the brand name, his past connection with the club and a huge marketing hook for the move into a new market.’’
The Raiders are prepared to move to Las Vegas from Oakland before the 2020 season.
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