The Chargers have been seeking a replacement for Norv Turner, who was fired Dec. 31 following a disappointing 7-9 season. It marked the third straight season that the Chargers failed to make the playoffs.
"The Chargers are an excellent franchise," Jay Gruden said. "They've always been competitive. For a number of years they were near the top of the division and won it a few times. It would be excellent to be a part of it."
Jay Gruden just finished his second season in Cincinnati. He previously served as an offensive assistant on his brother's staff in Tampa Bay from 2002-08. He also coached several years in the AFL, winning the Arena Bowl title twice.
The Bengals reached the playoffs each of the last two years with Gruden and quarterback Andy Dalton, a second-round pick in 2011. Their offense finished 22nd in total yards and 12th in points this season, and 20th and 18th in those categories in 2011.
The 45-year-old Gruden served two stints as coach of the Orlando Predators from 1998-2001 and from 2004-08. In 2002 and '03, he was the team's quarterback. As a player, he was quarterback at Louisville for four seasons, then played six seasons with the Tampa Bay Storm of the AFL.
"I've been a head coach before for a while," Gruden told reporters in Arizona after interviewing with the Cardinals on Thursday. "I know it's a different league and it's not the NFL, but I've handled people and handled organization, handled salary caps, done all the things necessary to be a head coach. I understand the game and I think it would be a good fit."
Information from ESPN's Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.