Jon Gruden is not the Head Coach of the Washington Redskins.  Not this year, and probably not next year, either.

But Rob, Bruce Allen is the new GM of the Washington Redskins, and the past two jobs he’s had as an NFL executive, Jon Gruden was his Head Coach.

I know that.  Anyone who heard the news about Bruce Allen’s signing today likely heard all about the ties between Allen and Gruden.  What else have I heard about the situation?

Last month, Jon Gruden signed a multi-year deal to continue as an analyst on “Monday Night Football” for ESPN, and apparently the terms of the contract aren’t such that he could just leave if he wanted.

ESPN spokesman Bill Hofheimer said on the topic of Gruden’s future “We expect to have Jon on ‘Monday Night Football’ for many years with the long-term commitment he has made to ESPN.”

NFL Network reporter Jason La Canfora, former Redskins beat-writer, said the following about the situation today in his blog:

multiple sources continue to tell me that Gruden is not going to coach until at least the 2011 season, and is loving his job as analyst on Monday Night Football. He signed an extension with ESPN, which I am told is ironclad for 2010 in terms of leaving, even for a coaching or “dream job” gig.

“There is a zero percent chance that Jon coaches anywhere next year,” said a source close to the coach.

Zero percent chance seems pretty low, if you ask me, but I wouldn’t say it’s much more than 1% or 2%.

To be honest, I’d be happy if the Washington Redskins kept Jim Zorn on as Head Coach next season.  They’ve treated him poorly this season, so it would be a nice gesture – if they’re just waiting to hire on Jon Gruden anyway.  Although no one would say that Jim Zorn is anywhere near the talent as a head coach that Joe Gibbs is, even Gibbs went 5-11 during his recent return to the NFL.  It wasn’t even five years ago that Jon Gruden went 4-12.  It’s not unreasonable to think that Jim Zorn, who is clearly making strides towards getting the offense to work, could return for one more year.  It wouldn’t be seen as a failure on Bruce Allen’s part if Zorn were to fail again next year, and it would give Allen an additional year to bring in the players he thinks the Redskins need to be successful (and if Zorn fails again next year, that’ll be another top-10 draft pick at Allen’s disposal).  Then Allen can hand-pick a head coach (Gruden or not), and Allen’s fate would be tied to the new coach.  It’s not like one failed season under a new coach would spell the end of Bruce Allen’s tenure in Washington, but two-straight failed seasons with an Allen-picked coach COULD cause Snyder to get rid of the GM.  If Zorn returns, fails, and then the new coach has two straight failing seasons, the Redskins fans would probably feel cheated, but Allen would at least have given himself a third season in the position, so if the choice is his to make, he’d be wise to go with Zorn unless he thinks Jim just doesn’t have what it takes to even get an average (8-8) record.  With all the injuries Washington has suffered this year, and the close losses, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think that Zorn could have success were he to have a healthy squad with some of the riff-raff gone.