That, the group said, would constitute a violation of the rule, which is named for late Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney and requires each team with a head coaching vacancy to interview at least one minority candidate.
While Davis and the Raiders did interview Thompson and Martin, the thought is that the organization may have done that after giving it to Gruden.
The Oakland Raiders were in a don't think-don't blink situation with their coaching staff this offseason, deciding to fire Jack Del Rio and hire Jon Gruden, while throwing $100 million over 10 years at the former Raiders coach who was lured out of the ESPN "Monday Night Football" booth. Everyone did. To say otherwise would be disingenuous.
The Raiders were in a no-win spot. Gannon played for the Raiders from 1999-2004. It makes sense that they wanted to figure out if Gruden was attainable before firing the coach who led them to the playoffs in 2016.
All that aside, if the Raiders did violate the Rooney Rule when hiring Gruden, then the organization deserves to be punished accordingly.
"We're going to put him in a position to do some of the things we did in the past with his recognition of defenses, his ability to communicate and showcase his talented arm", Gruden told NBC Sports Bay Area. On the other, Gruden could probably use a more established candidate that it willing to grind in a way that Gannon seemingly was not and this could be the right move for all parties. One, the Raiders claim they adhered to the letter of the Rooney Rule.
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The NFL has sanctioned teams for Rooney Rule violations in the past, issuing a $200,000 fine against Detroit Lions general manager Matt Millen in 2003 following the appointment of head coach Steve Mariucci.
Here's an idea. The NFL should just abolish the Rooney Rule.
The Raiders were stuck, to a degree.
Davis said Tuesday after introducing Gruden as the team's new coach that he believed Gruden was "all-in" to take the job during a meeting on Christmas Eve. The Raiders hired two African-Americans to their staff on Thursday in defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley (former Alabama Crimson Tide defensive backs coach) and running backs coach Jemal Singleton (former Indianapolis Colts running backs coach).
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