Mike Mayock Says Jon Gruden got Frustrated with the Raiders Lack of Cash to Spend in Free Agency

Raider fans and media personalities have long speculated about the Raiders financial situation, but very few that have worked behind the curtain have ever gone on record to discuss the reality of the team’s financial struggles.

One former team employee that has been willing to talk about the financial hurdles the Raiders faced prior to 2022 is Mike Mayock, the team’s general manager from late 2018 to early 2022.

Mayock held the GM position in Las Vegas prior to the influx of cash from the Allegiant Stadium deal, and said the lost revenue from the pandemic essentially set the team back a year from the standpoint of cash.

“I got there the last year in Oakland in 2019 and Mark Davis’s financial situation was probably one of the least positive in the league,” Mayock said on 3 and Out with Jon Middlekauff. “Then in 2020, our first year in Vegas, Covid hits and we have no fans, no income, no revenue. So, we had to structure contracts a certain way with our guarantees, different than a lot of teams, and that [was] frustrating because we didn’t have as much cash as a lot of other teams around the league did. Jon [Gruden] would get frustrated [and say] ‘Look at the Chargers. Look what they did. Look what this team did. Why can’t we do that?'”

“We just couldn’t [do what other teams were doing] and that’s ok as long as you know going in what the situation is and how you have to structure your cash,” Mayock added.

It may have been “ok” that the Raiders didn’t have cash in 2021, but if the situation frustrated Gruden, it’s fair to wonder if they didn’t miss on a player or two that they wanted to sign.

The Raiders lost Nelson Agholor to New England in the offseason of 2021, and tried to replace him with John Brown on a one-year, $3.75 million deal. Yannick Ngakoue and Kenyon Drake were the headliner free agent deal that year, but the Raiders made several inexpensive moves that worked out much better.

Cornerback Casey Hayward was arguably the league’s best bargain in free agency, and the cheaper deals for OL Jermaine Eluemunor and DT Johnathan Hankins ended up being money better spent for the Raiders, as well.

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