Report: Raiders decision to trade Khalil Mack was about Jon Gruden’s philosophy, not money

When the Raiders take the field on Sunday, Jon Gruden will have the misfortune of facing Khalil Mack, whom he (notoriously, some would say) traded away 13 months ago.

There have been theories abounding about why the Raiders ultimately decided to trade Mack, but in his column on Thursday morning, Raiders insider Jerry McDonald said the decision to trade Mack came specifically from Gruden and might not have happened if former general manager Reggie McKenzie had still been calling the shots:

From McDonald, via The Mercury News:

Go ahead and make the argument that Mack is worth being the highest paid defensive player in NFL history. He certainly looks the part. But the Jon Gruden-led Raiders had no intention of parting with a maximum of $141 million and $90 million guaranteed. If a pair of former linebackers like Jack Del Rio and Reggie McKenzie were making the call, then maybe Mark Davis writes the check.

Under Gruden (and now assisted by Mike Mayock), no defensive player is worth that kind of money. Gruden is an offensive coach and it’s an offensive league.”

It’s worth noting that McDonald also implied that Raiders owner Mark Davis did have the money to write a check to Mack, which stands against rumors that Davis couldn’t afford to put down enough cash to cover the guaranteed money in Mack’s record-breaking deal.

Of course it’s all water under the bridge now because Mack is a Chicago Bear and everyone has moved on… but it probably won’t feel that way on Sunday.

twitter: @raidersbeat


24 thoughts on “Report: Raiders decision to trade Khalil Mack was about Jon Gruden’s philosophy, not money

  1. Really. Who does not know that Gruden made the call 2 trade Mack n it is n will b the dumbest decision in history. The Raiders could have paid Mack less than Bears gave n could have probably worked contract so Mack received most of the money upon Raiders arriving in Vegas which benefits Mack as well but Gruden being the intelligent football guru (NOT!) chose 2 trade Mack. Gruden has n will never receive that which he gave up n he continued n continues 2 make horrible moves that cost the Raiders organization, the team, n the fans. I know 1 thing beyond a doubt n that is Gruden does not deserve the contract he received n EVERYONE knows it but hes retarded horrible coach self.

    1. your crazy he is right no player is worth that much in the playoffs for Chicago mack had 1 tackle !!! 90 million !!! Donald in superbowl had 3 tackles you don’t win games with one player!! you name any great defense and your gonna name at least 4 or more elite players on that team bears did not add any players to there team this off season why???? so they are the same team ,rams have 227 million in guarantees in 4 players and they gave up 54 points to the bucks which is the second time in 2 season’s they gave up that much hell the raiders defense haven’t given up that

    2. And this is the dumbest post in history. Why pay all that money for Mack? They offered him a contract that he turned down. He clearly was about the money and the Raiders were firm on their offer to him. To get 2 first round draft picks was great for the Raiders. I understand that he is a generational player, but if you can’t win the Super Bowl with him it’s a waste. I love it when all of these analysts talk about how the Bears won this trade when at the end of the day their team will be doing the same as the Raiders, watching the Super Bowl. So tell me how they won the trade? As for Gruden, time will tell. I think he is a good coach who just needs some time to build his roster. When he took over the team had a bunch of average and below average players and I think he has done a great job to this point with adding good pieces. Patience, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Go Raiders

  2. No defensive player is worth what Mack got or Darnold with the Rams. Didn’t the Bucs light up 48 points on that defense of the Rams. Darnold had 1 tackle and 3 assists. So Gruden did what’s best for the TEAM. MIT thinktank agreed as well. NFL is not a star driven league like the NBA where one guy can change a franchise around overnight like Lebron.

    1. 1st Raiders cud have signed Mack 4 less than Bears gave n that is a fact. 2nd u spoke of the rams having 48 scored on them but Mack is a Bear n nobody has ran up points on Bears with Mack. Mack has made that defense more than they were as he wud any team. He creates problems 4 offenses n creates opportunities 4 other defensive players. N Gruden cares nothing 4 Team as u say or he wud not have forced Team 2 AB drama. It was not about money with Mack as look wat Gruden did he went n OVERPAID 4 Trent Brown a mediocre lineman at best then went n overpaid 4 joyner n possibly Williams. Lets not 4get Gruden was going 2 pay AB all that money extending him a raise n bonus. These players required more upfront guaranteed money due 2 Gruden handling of players last season n his lies n bs 2 everyone so players were not trusting of playing here after watching how Gruden treats players such as Mack a homegrown beast so it made players think i best get as much guaranteed if playing 4 Gruden. I cud go on n on with horrible decisions Gruden has made n present facts n stats that show Raiders cud have paid Mack look at teams that have multiple high paid guys but i end with this also having Mack still not only makes our defense much better but other players will want 2 come 2 Raiders because Mack plays there n will take less money n guaranteed money if still here. Mack makes so many things better 4 Raiders u cant calculate wat losing Mack cost us.

      1. The bears had a top 10 defense before mack. We had a shitty defense with mack on the team. We would have overpaid him than try to get mediocre players to help us. Trubisky contract will b over soon. He will want to get paid like top 10 QB
        Look at Kirk Cousin ( average and getting elite money). It will have an impact on the rest of the team when they looking for their guaranteed contract. I love Mack but we couldn’t afford the players we have now, which by the way have made some impact on the team
        With the exception of Brown. Also our draft pick, Abrams look solid until the season ending injury. We still have another first rounder next year. So raiders fans need to be patient and c what those pick will look like in Vegas.

  3. Bottom line is greed on everybody’s part. Players fail to recognize they are being paid a fortune to play a game. Hey players, remember college where you went to get a diploma and learn a trade, you know skills to use to put food on the. table, they have no loyalty to anything because t the Benjamin’s. Owners, who are never satisfied with the obscene profits they make, wanting the public to fund their stadiums and holding them hostage threatening to move if their demands are met, and making it impossible for many fans to ever be able to attend a game. Agents, who are the bottom feeders in this ordeal, by convincing players to follow their every word, often convincing players that they are better than they really are and getting them to holdout for more money, which only lines the snake’s pockets further. The NFL, who are out of control, especially when it comes tv revenue. The monopoly with direct tv is heinous, which again only serves to further emptying pockets, while being available to much fewer people, than if all games were available through cable companies. They could offer the full access or a reasonably priced pay per game. ‘Nuff said

    1. U r correct about all u said n where n when is it going 2 end. All the while the fans who r the people that allow all of it 2 happen r fukd over n lied 2 especially all the lying Gruden has done since return. But u r so right.

    2. It kind of sounds like you just don’t like professional football. First off, not one player, who is in the NFL, went to college “to learn a trade to put food on the table.” Stop it. And some players fail to recognize they get paid fortunes because not all of them make fortunes. On a 53-man roster there’s probably like 10 to 15 players that are actually making millions a year. The average career in the league is 3 years! So you can miss me with the whole “stop being greedy” argument. The fact is Mack wanted an amount that Gruden didn’t want to give. All the other points you bring up about agents, TV revenues, and unruly owners are pretty much irrelevant to an NFL fan. 🤷🏾‍♂️

  4. Raiders def wasn’t very good with Mack. Raiders were not a playoff team. My math skills 1 doesn’t equal 11 on defense plus 11 offense and special teams. To build a playoff team at times it to rebuild not retool.

    1. Read my reply 2 another. Mack has value everywhere n the Raiders supporting cast was diff then than it is now or cud b with Gruden gone. Mack is a beast n wud have made everyone else much better but clearly u r a Gruden lover blind 2 the truth n loving his lies

  5. Gruden is no Guru, and Carr is no franchise QB, he’d be a awesome back up though! Defense wind championship guess y’all missed the Superbowl last year 😂🤣 if we could’ve kept Mack we shoul’ve, bottom line, Gruden better pull a rabbit at his hat on this one!!


  7. When has Gruden been anything but a loser I don’t understand how he got another coaching job in the nfl he hasn’t won anything since he broke up Tony Dungy’s Bucs a team that btw won the because of defense with Warren sapp up front and D Brooks in the middle and I recall Dexter Jackson had like 2 pick 6 in that super bowl a defensive player won Super Bowl MVP Gruden is overrated and has been for a long time

  8. Jon Gruden as an assistant coach won a Super Bowl with Green Bay Packers when the Packers paid an NFL record at the time to free agent to DE Reggie White. Results Gruden’s first Super Bowl ring. In fact Reggie’s presence was so impactful the Green Bay packers won a second NFC championship game and played in another Super Bowl. This offense wrecker Reggie White was the highest paid defensive player. Green Bay has never gone broke!
    Jon Gruden won a Super Bowl as a head coach with a historic defense in Tampa Bay. This defense was drafted by Tony Dungy and schemed by Monte Kiffin. The defense featured a number of offense wreckers. Notably Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and Jon Lynch. The money paid was mostly on the defensive side of the ball. Then Jon traded away the best players on defense and he got fired.
    You would think Gruden would recognize that his successes in this league have come thru either one in a generation defensive players like Reggie White or Khalil Mack or drafting absolute beasts like maybe Devon White.
    But somehow he forgets all these obvious lessons and trades away Khalil Mack because defensive players aren’t worth paying because is galactic stubbornness. He just to stubborn to learn…..smh
    Jon what are you fkn talking about?

  9. All of you who say Mack isent worth the money ,Let me tell you that Mack has Made the players in Chicago much better with His presence . EVER HEARD OF D WINS CHAMPONSHIPS?? WELL THE BEST MOVE EVER MADE BY ANY ORGANIZATION!!! FACT!!

  10. I’m a die hard raider fan and have family with in the organization, MAC would not come in to talk . His agent was the devil in this one, and gets no credit. The Raiders were prepared to pay Mac but they insisted on being the highest paid player and he would of been had he came in and worked with the team to make it happen. It would have only been 60 million guaranteed , and they were going to have to get creative to make it all work. So take your stupid *** assumptions and stick them back up in your dumb *** brain because you sound like a fucking retard , like Jon Gruden didn’t want Mack, you must be high on crack or something, That’s how he got Gunther to take the job do you think he just lies to everyone, dumb ****. Jon lost a lot of sleep over his decision to trade Mack. Mack being advised by his agent were not going to play without the Raiders cutting almost half of there salary cap funds to one player and there was no willingness to work out a in house deal, like Al Davis would of done. The same guy that taught Jon the ropes , the same guy that traded Jon after the tuck loss the same guy that in his last days told Mark Davis , Trading Gruden was his biggest mistake. If you want to point a finger point it at the **** head agent and Mark for doing what his father would of wanted, getting Jon back, and Jon did exactly as the late Mr. Davis would of done…….. and that is what was best for the future of the Raiders going forward was to get something before there was nothing to get. If Mack holds out all last season this year he would of been a free agent, then what do we have? Nothing. Jacobs and Abraham are great playerS with 4-5 yrs at least before they will get the big dough… Why is that hard to understand for the lame? We all were deviatated to loose Mack, from the owner to the fans, don’t Make it worst trying to pollute peoples minds and bashing our coach over it . Get your facts straight, dickhead.

  11. Raiders had one of the worst defences in the league with mack so to say trading him was the wrong thing to do only time will tell. One of the picks we got for him was jon Abram who looked like an awesome pick until he got injured. Lets see who the next pick will be and judge then

Comments are closed.