Gruden, Browns denying Memphis report

photo Jon Gruden

Shortly after midnight Eastern time, Memphis television station WREG began reporting on its website that Jon Gruden has a contract offer to coach the University of Tennessee football team.

The denials were quick and direct this morning. Gruden denied the report emphatically on "The Mike and Mike Show" on ESPN Radio on Wednesday morning. The Browns issued a statement saying there was no truth to the report.

According to the original CBS affiliate, the offer includes part ownership in the NFL's Cleveland Browns, which were recently bought by Jim Haslam, a prominent UT booster. Also according to the television report, a potential hangup could be over money Gruden is owed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from his head-coaching stint that ended in 2008. The NFL is looking into the potential conflict of owning a share of one team while getting money from another before the deal goes forward.