Raiders head coach Jon Gruden faced the media and answered the questions brought before him. RaiderNation seeks answers after the team dealt highly popular and unquestioned best player Khalil Mack in a shocking blockbuster deal.
For many fans, this Labor Day weekend is truly a labor to get through.
“We’re going to be second-guessed until the cows come home on this — I understand that,” Gruden admitted at a Sunday evening press conference. “But the bottom line is: We did our due diligence, there was a standoff, and he got a great contract from the Bears — a great contract.”
That contract, a $141 million pact with $90 million guaranteed; a number Gruden said was “astronomical”.
The Raiders gave Mack an offer (one Gruden willing admits was not close to the Bears numbers) and in the end, their best player — an ascendant type talent that might never reside in Silver & Black again — is in a Bears uniform. It was a perfect storm of a PR nightmare for any organization. However, like general manager Reggie McKenzie a day before him, Gruden took inquiries from curious media personnel. Also, the fanbase and audience appear eager to hear answers. Many will second-guess the Raiders The team will endure ridicule, mockry and dismisses as a second … no, third-class organization.
“I’m not going to get into the negotiations,” Gruden started“, McKenzie and Tom Delaney and the people that were involved in the negotiations were involved in that. I know there is maybe some feeling that I was involved on day-to-day negotiation. I had nothing to do with it. We were at a standoff and something had to happen. And here we are.”
Gruden further addressed the rumors he is the sole decision-maker in Alameda.
“We made a decision as an organization. People are trying to divide us,” a defiant Gruden said.
Then, mere moments later seemingly contradicted himself when asked about why a second-round pick followed Mack to Chicago.
“I really wasn’t involved in all of that. So you have to ask Reggie to be honest with you.”
Nevertheless, for all the “wrongs” Gruden did, he was right too.
When asked about the questionable decision to ship a third-round pick to Pittsburgh for risky Martavis Bryant, the head coach threw a spear trident and true like Leonidas did in 300, aimed (directly or indirectly) at McKenzie.
“Obviously, the last three draft classes we haven’t got a lot of production out of yet. I don’t think there’s anybody left from the ‘13 draft. The 15, 16, 17 not much production at all.”
Gruden went on to explain the Raiders and ther status as the league’s oldest team because of the inability to draft and develop talent, and, to fill holes. Also, he mentioned free agency “where players tend to be older”
Gruden threw McKenzie under the bus?
Sure, but the license plate on said bus is “DATRUTH”.