In Jon Gruden we trust, right? Well, we’re probably going to have to wait a couple of years to see what his product on the field is, but the once-again Oakland Raiders head coach has done little to inspire trust. He has been a less than honest to the media, Raider Nation and his players.
One of the first things he vowed to Raider Nation was that he would try to win a Super Bowl before leaving Oakland. But then his first major personnel move was to trade edge-rusher Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears for future draft picks. There is no player in the 2019 or 2020 NFL Draft that’s going to be better than Mack right away so that’s out the window.
And let’s not forget the promise he made to the Nation at Ricky’s (restaurant).
“And we’re going to find a way to get Khalil Mack back, too,” Gruden said, “You’ll see.”
What we saw is Gruden not even try to get Mack to come back to the Raiders. Cris Collinsworth of NBC’s Sunday Night Football exposed that when the Green Bay Packers played the Chicago Bears, Mack’s new team.
“I asked Khalil Mack, if Jon Gruden had called you and said, ‘Hey, you’re our guy, no way in the world we’re letting you get out of here, you’re the best player we have,’ would it have made a difference? And he said, ‘Yeah, it would have,’“ Collinsworth said.
Of course, there are those who will say Gruden came in to rebuild the roster to his liking. But there isn’t a general manager or coach that rebuilds a roster by becoming the oldest team in the NFL. This rebuild going on now just started because the Raiders aren’t winning. If his plan all along was to rebuild, he had to have lied to the veteran players he picked up.
Do you think Gruden told guys like Jordy Nelson he’s going to a rebuilding team?
Gruden embellished about Nelson to Raider Nation as well. He gassed a lot of us up by saying Nelson can still run as he was clocked at 22 MPH in practice. But guys that run that fast don’t get hawked (caught from behind) by linebackers as Nelson did by Miami Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker, who runs a 4.53 40. Saying Nelson can still play is one thing but telling Raider Nation a whopper like he runs 22 MPH is another.
Then he was at it again after reports came out that he was looking to trade Amari Cooper.
“I don’t know,” Gruden said. “I haven’t heard that. I’m not. I’m not. I’m just sorry to have to deal with a lot of these reports. I just hope Amari’s OK. Like I said, he’s going to be a big part of our pass offense.”
A week later Cooper was traded to the Dallas Cowboys.
Gruden’s players didn’t even know about the trade.
“When I came in the locker room. Just grabbed my phone,” quarterback Derek Carr said when asked how he found out about the trade. “It was more of a feeling of, ‘Where’s Coop?’ Then you kind of just assume after that.”
He then claimed the reason he didn’t tell the team was because he didn’t know it was official, saying as of Wednesday — after Cooper had already practiced with the Cowboys — that he still didn’t know it was official.
Gruden’s strongest, most passionate denial has been regarding the T-word (tanking)
“We’re not tanking anything,” he said. “I hear the hatred out there, some of the rumors that we’re tanking it to get a first-round pick or a higher pick. … Ain’t nobody tanking it. I don’t know who wrote that or who said that or who thinks that, but that ain’t the case here.”
Okay, so getting rid of your best players without a replacement isn’t tanking?
What about quarterback Derek Carr?
“I’m not going to speculate about that today,” Gruden said when asked what happens if someone calls about him. “I don’t see us making anymore trades. Certainly, I don’t see us trading our quarterback.”
We can take that for now but from what we’ve seen so far, it seems very possible he will, eventually. NFL insider Jason La Canfora has Carr going to the New York Giants at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. There is reason to believe La Canfora here because he has been on the money regarding the Raiders lately. He saw the Mack trade coming and he called the Raiders trading down to take left tackle Kolton Miller.
It is understandable that head coaches don’t want to open up the whole organization’s workings for the world to see. But goodness, most NFL teams try to tell you the truth or stay away from the topic as oppose to the things Gruden says that are quickly proven false.
Even GM Reggie McKenzie, when first hired, made no bones about the fact he would tear the Raiders down and rebuild them afterward. Meanwhile, Gruden’s players don’t even seem to know what’s going on or what the ultimate plan is. Again, we’ll have to wait a couple of more years to see what his plan is.
But is this the way to run an NFL organization?
Will future free agents trust him and sign on the dotted line?
Will his draft picks trust him in the future?
Do you trust him?
How skeptical have you become of Jon Gruden’s word?
This poll is closed
I still trust it