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Jon Gruden says Rodney Hudson ‘big piece of this franchise’, hopes Raiders can keep Pro Bowl center ‘for a long time’

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday Rodney Hudson announced that he had earned his Masters Degree. It was yet another major accomplishment for the already highly decorated Raiders center.

“He’s graduated from pass protection U, run blocking State and now he’s got his Masters in Business. And that just certifies what kind of guy you’re dealing with here,” Jon Gruden said of Hudson. “He’s a great player on the field, he’s one of our captains and true team leaders. He’s as tough a guy as we have. I’ve seen him play with kidney stones and various ailments. And to get a Masters degree is a huge accomplishment. I compliment him till days end. He’s special.”

Hudson is also entering the final year of his contract with the five-year deal he signed with the Raiders prior to the 2015 season. At 29, and still very much in his prime, keeping him around should be a top priority. According to Gruden, the Raiders are working on it.

“I know Mike Mayock has talked to his agent,” Gruden said. “I don’t want to get involved in the specifics of those conversations, but we consider him a big piece of this franchise and we’re going to do everything we can to keep him here for a long time.”

While Mayock may have spoken with Hudson’s agent at some point, I was unable to confirm any actual contract discussion have occurred at this time. But they certainly should be.

When Hudson signed his deal back in 2015, he was the highest paid center in the league averaging $8.9 million a year. Now the 2-time Pro Bowler is tenth. Three centers over the age of 30 are currently averaging more per season than Hudson and all he would need to become the highest paid center in the league is a $2.5 million per season bump. He’s earned it. Getting on those discussions would be smart.