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Jon Gruden: Genius or Joke

by: Bailey Biddle

The Oakland Raiders potentially made the biggest splash this offseason and in franchise history by trading away one of the best, if not the best, pass rusher in the National Football League.  This trade made Khalil Mack the highest paid defensive player in NFL history with a deal that included 90 million dollars in guaranteed money. The Bears reached a record breaking six-year deal with a 141 million dollar extension and the deal averages 23.5 million dollars a season, crazy right?  The trade was with the Chicago Bears and they chose to give away a first-round pick in the 2019 and 2020 draft, a third-round pick in 2020, and a sixth-round pick in 2019, for the great Khalil Mack. The Raiders chose to give the Bears a second-round pick in 2020 and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2020.  As we sit here and analyze this trade, by far it looks like to the common eye that the Raiders are the dumbest franchise in the NFL for trading away a great defensive building block.

It comes down to this, the Raiders simply did not have enough money to sign him, and he would have walked in free agency next year.  The Raiders just recently signed Jon Gruden to a ten year, 100 million dollar contract, plus you have to add in money going toward building the new stadium in Las Vegas.  Jon Gruden even said in an interview, “Salary cap issues do exist,” and, “We just could not do $90 million dollars in guaranteed money.” So, why are we beating this man up in the media spotlight because of this trade deal with the Bears.  Right now, the Chicago Bears have won this trade and bolstered their already stacked young linebacker core, but what about the Raiders. I think that Jon Gruden is potentially a very well thought out man and here’s why.

The 2019 NFL draft is stacked with many great defensive lineman and pass rushers, which can potentially try to replace Khalil Mack with a significant lower pay grade.  With 2 picks in the 2019 NFL draft, this draft already has 8 to 9 defensive lineman and pass rusher combos that fills the needs of the Raiders. Just some of those names include: Nick Bosa from OSU, Ed Oliver from Houston, Rashan Gary from Michigan, Clelin Ferrell from Clemson, Zach Allen from Boston College, Raekwon Davis from Bama, Josh Allen from Kentucky, and finally Montez Sweat from Miss State.  All these edge-rushers and lineman have the potential to be great athletes in the league, plus this draft is so deep that no matter where the Raiders land, there is a pass-rusher just waiting to be drafted. Now the Raiders also drafted Arden Key in this year’s draft and have high expectations for him to produce on the football field. I think that if any of these guys pan out, do we look back at this trade and still ridicule the Raiders?

If the Raiders wanted to re-sign any of their players on their roster and be major players in free agency, this trade was something that had to be done.  We have to ask ourselves in NFL football can one player, minus QB’s, single handedly win you football games? Personally, I would rather have 3 to 4 significant players on my roster that add up to that deal, rather than one player receiving a bulk of my salary cap.  Also, something does not sit right with me that everyone in the main media agrees that the Raiders screwed up, and when has the vast majority been all right about something? Now that you have read this article, do you really think Jon Gruden is a genius or just created a dumpster fire in the Raiders organizations in years to come?  I guess in this situation only time can be a factor in telling us who really won this massive trade deal in the NFL.

About Jake Taylor

Assistant Director of Mocs News

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