Raiders coach Jon Gruden may distance himself from this news, but his agent, Bob Lamonte, is on the verge of giving the Raiders a deadline of the start of training camp to reward Gruden with a new contract.
The Raiders have exercised a two-year option at $1.2 million annually through 2002, but Lamonte wants Gruden to get a new deal at about $4 million per year, with more control over personnel. That would put him in direct conflict with Raiders boss Al Davis, who risks losing Gruden at the end of the 2002 season if a new deal is not done by training camp.
|Jon Gruden celebrates with fans after a Raiders' win and hopes to be celebrating a new deal with Oakland before training camp starts.|
Raiders recruiting Rice
Gruden is borrowing from his past to recruit Jerry Rice as a free-agent pickup next month. As an assistant in Green Bay and Philadelphia, he saw veteran receivers Mark Clayton, Irving Fryar and Art Monk make significant contributions at the end of their careers.
In Oakland, Gruden also has seen what he calls "hungry vets possessed to prove themselves" like Rich Gannon, Tyrone Wheatley and Andre Rison emerge as impact players. Rison met with Gruden this week to pitch one more year, which doesn't necessarily rule out Rice.
Packers give Wolf a nice ride
Ron Wolf was honored at an event last Wednesday by the Packers and was given some lovely parting gifts as the team's general manager, including a boat. That wasn't the big surprise.
When Wolf got home, he opened the garage door to see a ribbon wrapped around a new Mercedes a gift from coaches and several players, including Brett Favre with a card that read: "You've driven us, now let us drive you."
Dilfer's destination still unclear
The Packers and Colts are interested in Trent Dilfer after Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer made it public last week that Dilfer wasn't in his plans.
Dilfer probably will lay low until a public appearance June 9. He accepted the Ravens' generous invitation to attend their Super Bowl ring ceremony at PSI-Net Stadium in what is likely to be an emotional event for a quarterback who is 15-1 in his last 16 NFL starts but still without a team.