From the moment Jon Gruden rejoined the Raiders, fans of the team entered into a “trust fall” scenario. Gruden resided booth and away from coaching for a number of years. Fans felt like they needed to trust that he still could do the job. After, fans had to trust that trading Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper would benefit the team. The NFL never stops.
The way Gruden and the rest of the Raiders front office have handled a majority of these monumental moves a bit of a clandestinely way. With Mack and Cooper, the level of secrecy kept in the days prior to the trades made things feel as though the front office somehow still held all the cards. As time progresses, we see that the effectiveness of these trades can be questionable at best; as long the picks the team received continue to struggle, the trades will continue to receive negative feedback.
When a team trades a star for draft picks, the trust from fans rely on the traded player performing worse than the received players, and in this case, the Raiders should have kept Mack and Cooper. The Raiders trust tree continued to bring shade and shelter to Gruden and the front office after these moves though, and continued through drafting Clelin Ferrell at fourth overall.
Once again, fans recognized Gruden as crafty and cunning and held on to hope and trust that the Raiders may have pulled off the steal of the draft (which, of course, they did not). Following Ferrell, the Raiders took now-borrowed trust and (as of the 2021-22 preseason) continued to bungle a majority of their draft selections.
Las Vegas enjoyed five first-round picks in the last two drafts, and of those picks, running back Josh Jacobs has been the only noteworthy selection. The Raiders have now had multiple years to work in their first batch of first-round picks, and have yet to get them acclimated to the NFL. Clelin Ferrell’s lack of production in his first two seasons should be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
A certain level of trust is given when a new coach/front office takes over, but Gruden and the Raiders have outstayed their welcome and now have to regain trust from the fan base. And what better way to regain trust than cutting one of the best centers in the league in Rodney Hudson, with zero statements on the matter, until long after?
At this point, the Raiders have taken any remaining molecules of trust and vaporized them. No noted trade attempts, no mutually parting ways announcement, just a “released” statement. Hudson allowed three sacks in six seasons for the Raiders, and was one of two remaining players from the Raiders’ 2016 playoff appearance, AND was on a relatively affordable contract. The Raiders tried to save face, shipping him to Arizona for a third-round pick.