Jay Gruden and the Washington Redskins are putting the finishing touches on a contract that will be finalized Thursday, when Gruden is expected to be named the franchise's head coach.
Gruden will replace Mike Shanahan, who was fired four years into a five-year deal at the end of the 2013 season, which ended with a franchise-worst eight consecutive losses while questions about quarterback Robert Griffin III's health and leadership poisoned the locker room. Washington was 3-13 last season after making the playoffs in 2012.
Gruden is a 12-year veteran of the NFL coaching ranks and recently wrapped up his third season leading the Cincinnati Bengals' offense. The Bengals made three straight playoff appearances, but lost in the opening round each year.
He has never been a head coach in the NFL but did hold that title in the United Football League and Arena Football League.
Gruden worked with current Redskins general manager Bruce Allen with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when Gruden worked under his brother Jon Gruden. On that same staff was current Redskins secondary coach Raheem Morris, who is expected to be retained along with defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.
Gruden informed the Bengals he would not return on Thursday morning, according to multiple reports. Former Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson is expected to replace Gruden as offensive coordinator after serving as assistant head coach for Marvin Lewis last season.
Gruden was the sixth confirmed candidate to interview with the Redskins, following Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. Scheduled to interview were Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, who was offered the coaching job at Penn State late Wednesday, and San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
Gruden, who interviewed for the Tennessee Titans' opening on Tuesday, was scheduled to speak with the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday.