Saturday morning, I woke up and jumped out of bed. I ran around my apartment in my underwear (I know too much information) screaming at my dogs “football is on!”. I go into my closet and look for my burnt orange shirt and start brewing my coffee. Unbeknownst to me, a story from the NFL would dominate the news cycle on the opening day for college football.
The Oakland Raiders traded All-Pro outside linebacker Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears (according to ESPN). The Raiders received two first-round picks (2019 and 2020) a third-round pick (2020) and a sixth-round pick (2019). The Bears received Khalil Mack, a second-round pick (2020) and a conditional fifth-round pick (2020).
The Chicago Bears who looked like they were a player away on defense, now have that guy. With additions of Roquan Smith and (now) Mack, they team up with Akiem Hicks and CO., a defense that silently ranked in the top-15 in quarterback pressures. This type of defense is going to be a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks (especially that guy with the new $134 million dollar contract in Green Bay).
Fleeced, swindled, bamboozled, any of these adjectives will fit what just happened to the Oakland Raiders. Khalil Mack is a once in a lifetime player, and the Raiders just got rid of him. First-round draft picks have a high probability of being ‘busts’. The fact that they gave up Khalil Mack (definitely not a bust) and a second-round pick because they didn’t want to pay him just shows the dysfunction already taking place in the Jon Gruden era.
Khalil Mack won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2017. Not to mention he was drafted in 2014, so he is entering his prime RIGHT NOW.
When Jon Gruden was hired, there were reports that he never reached out to Mack to meet him. When they finally met, it was rumored that the meeting went sour.
“We weren’t very good last year on defense with Khalil Mack,” – Jon Gruden
A welcoming quote from a coach you have never met. Couldn’t imagine that coming back to bite you in the ass…
We might not know if this was a successful trade for another few years. If the Raiders end up not making the playoffs for the next two years, Gruden might not be there to see if it was a good trade either.
I have said it before, Jon Gruden is not a great coach. With decisions like this, it is proving my point. The Raiders brought him in to sell season tickets for when they move to Las Vegas.
Jon Gruden is signed to a 10-year $100 million dollar contract and said if he doesn’t get the job done, then he will give the money back. I would like to see that written out in a legal document. When he fails I seriously doubt he will give that money back. Sorry Raiders fans, this is probably going to be a rough few seasons.
Header image source Khalil Mack