We are now sufficiently immersed in Jon Gruden’s experiment that he has not only knocked down the last good squad this team had, but also the first phase of rebuilding after his initial takedown. Maybe we can call this a takedown goal; a takedown of a takedown. Let Gruden keep showing us new things during his return to the NFL.
On Tuesday, the team released Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson, leaving only one of its five offensive linemen left from the previous year (Hudson was a carryover from Reggie McKenzie that Gruden did not acquire). Richie Incognito (brought in by Gruden) and Gabe Jackson (not brought in by Gruden) were released and Trent Brown (brought in by Gruden) was traded to the New England Patriots. Hudson signed an extension just over a year ago and his release will generate more than $ 15 million in dead money.
In addition to acquiring Yannick Ngakoue, another no-hitting attempt to recreate the passing void left by traded Khalil Mack, the Raiders are in a terrible position as they approach the 2021 season. improved in some way. His best offensive weapon, Josh Jacobs, has no one to pave the way in front of him. Despite having a top 10 quarterback who is incredibly affordable, there seems to be no ability to hit while the iron is hot.
This, as division continues to emerge around him.
This is when we should probably start wondering what exactly the plan is in Las Vegas. Gruden is 19-29 over the past three seasons, a fair evaluation period that would likely see most other coaches posting similar records fired. Negotiated the best assets the franchise had and boasted of replacing them with a host of veterans like Vontaze Burfict, Trent Brown, Lamarcus Joyner, Tyrell Williams and Antonio Brown, none of whom remain on the list.
Some of the people who read this never believed in Gruden in the first place. Perhaps he was mostly boastful, and after years of threatening to leave the TV booth, the rapidly evolving NFL called him a bluff and left him looking stale.
Others will defend Gruden, saying he’s making the best of a bad situation. Jerry McDonald, who has covered the team since 1995, floated the long-whispered idea Tuesday that the team is having cash flow issues, making some of these inexplicable moves on the list a must. This is an acceptable excuse, especially since Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock seem like independent smart people who wouldn’t make these kinds of decisions without a push from the owner’s suite.
And cash problems would indeed be a difficult organizational hurdle to overcome. Although they would look increasingly tense paying a head coach $ 10 million a season on a guaranteed contract that lasts for a decade. Something is wrong here.
If they hired Gruden to get through this situation, he doesn’t seem up to the task. If there is no problem, then the Raiders are truly devoid of an excuse and must answer for the state of affairs.
The wayward path the franchise has taken since Gruden arrived in 2018 has led us from this list wasn’t good enough, let me bring my boys here, to the boys i brought here ain’t good enough. Coaches and schemes have become scapegoats. Valuable and excellent years of affordable athletics are being wasted (the one thing Gruden deserves credit for getting back into the Mack deal).
And now, the fourth year begins with much less enthusiasm and optimism than any of the previous years. Maybe that’s exactly how Gruden wants it; a disadvantaged position from which to inspire a surprising comeback.
Or maybe it’s just what it looks like from the outside: a disaster of one man’s creation, who no longer has anywhere else to point the finger.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.