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Jon Gruden Returning To NFL? Report Says ESPN Broadcaster Set To Return In 2012

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TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 28: Coach Jon Gruden of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers directs play against the Oakland Raiders at Raymond James Stadium on December 28, 2008 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 28: Coach Jon Gruden of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers directs play against the Oakland Raiders at Raymond James Stadium on December 28, 2008 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

It looks like that five-year contract extension Jon Gruden signed with ESPN back in October might not have much affect on where he actually turns up for work. According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune, the current "Monday Night Football" broadcaster has decided to return to coaching in 2012 and the network is already preparing for his departure.

Per Acee, Gruden could land in San Diego due to his relationship with Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith. Of course, Gruden's likeliest landing spot could be a moving target as Smith could be ousted from the Chargers' front office at any moment.

Earlier this month, Acee reported that Chargers president Dean Spanos plans on firing head coach Norv Turner . In that scenario, Smith would likely be gone as well.

ESPN has denied the Gruden rumors.

"Jon signed a multi-year extension with ESPN this fall. He remains committed to being a part of Monday Night Football for many years."

Gruden, along with former Steelers coach Bill Cowher, have been rumored throughout the year to be making the return coaching in the near future.

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