Raiders' Jon Gruden 'happy' to be at the NFL combine

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Lured out of the broadcast booth with a $100 million contract that makes him the highest-paid football coach ever, Jon Gruden sauntered up to the podium and flashed that mischievous smile.

"I'm very excited to be back here in Indianapolis," Gruden declared. "I sure have missed the combine."

Gruden is navigating an offseason NFL landscape that's changed drastically since he last roamed the sideline nearly a decade ago.

"It's a lot different because you're not allowed to have any interaction with the players, and I've always complained about that since the new (collective bargaining agreement) came into place," Gruden said Wednesday. "A lot of players would come to see me in Tampa to get their football fix.

"So, you're not allowed to have contact with these guys. But what's most discouraging to me is we've got to make some decisions on our roster, on salaries, on players and their futures and you can't even meet them," Gruden grumbled.

"I don't know these guys. I've never coached them. I never met half of them. So, that's been very, very difficult for me and I've been emotional about it at times."


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