The writing stood on the wall. However, as fans, sometimes we do not want to see it. Instead, we chose to see the brighter side of things and be caught up in the emotion of old memories. We chose to believe that the good times for the Raiders would continue to roll. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. In addition, if we really paid attention early on, we would have seen this all coming.
The day Mark Davis and the Raiders hired Jon Gruden for that 10 year, $100 million dollar deal, was a day full of excitement and nostalgia for fans. It signaled that the team was heading in the right direction and that the dark days were past us.
After the team released Michael Crabtree, among others, many believed that the team was merely clearing up cap space to sign Khalil Mack to that long-term deal he deserved. Then, the team had a strange and bizarre draft. They selected Kolton Miller ahead of guys like Derwin James and Tremaine Edmunds. Furthermore, more moves that involved players replacing guys from the “old” regime. As the offseason continued, the clues continued to come up.
Finally, a week before the season starts; Aaron Donald sets the market price for Mack and the Raiders. Gruden and Reggie McKenzie proceeded to call every team in the NFL that had the draft capital available to obtain the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year. Unfortunately, we all know what happened the next day. The team acquired two first round picks from the Chicago Bears for arguable the best defensive player in the league.
They have moved their biggest asset for draft capital and clearly up contracts that do not fit into their long-term plan. And if you needed more evidence of this massive rebuild, news has broke that former first round picks Amari Cooper and Karl Joseph are now on the trade block.
These entire moves signaled one thing for Gruden and the Raiders: Rebuild. The team is in full rebuild mode. They had been and will continue to go do this road as the team continues to struggle and lose games. The team is now 1-5 and looking like the worst team in the NFL right now. Gruden is breaking down the team one player at a time. All to form the team Chuckie envisioned when he signed his deal with Oakland.
Therefore, if you didn’t know by now or tried to ignore for as long as possible, the facts are in and the verdict is set. The Raiders of 2016 are long gone and the massive reconstruction is in full force. So the times ahead will be tough and bumpy for the fans. But don’t say you didn’t know that this was coming. At this point, all I can say to you is this……….Brace yourself, it’s only going to get uglier.