Update 9:15 a.m.: Redskins, Jay Gruden agree on a deal
The Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden have made progress toward a possible agreement for him to become the Redskins’ head coach, according to two people familiar with the situation.
The deliberations were at a sensitive stage and it was possible the deal still could unravel, according to one of those people, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. That person called it “possible [but] not definite” that Gruden would be hired by the Redskins. The other person said an agreement was within reach but not fully completed.
Gruden interviewed with the Redskins on Wednesday. He was scheduled to return to Cincinnati and interview Thursday with the Minnesota Vikings for their vacant head coaching job. He previously interviewed with the Tennessee Titans.
Gruden was the sixth candidate known to have interviewed with the Redskins, following offensive coordinators Darrell Bevell of the Seattle Seahawks and Jim Caldwell of the Baltimore Ravens, defensive coordinators Sean McDermott of the Carolina Panthers and Perry Fewell of the New York Giants, and Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia.
The Redskins had planned to meet with Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin but he reportedly has been offered the coaching job at Penn State. The team also has sought interviews with offensive coordinators Ken Whisenhunt of the San Diego Chargers and Greg Roman of San Francisco 49ers, and defensive coordinators Mike Zimmer of the Bengals and Vic Fangio of the 49ers.
Gruden has been a candidate for the Titans, Vikings and Detroit Lions openings. Before his interview Wednesday, one person close to the situation said that Gruden seemed to prefer the Titans but the Redskins might make him a financial offer that would be difficult for him to refuse.