Should Mark Davis Be Worried About Jon Gruden As Personnel Chief?

The Raiders are 0-2, but they do look better than a year ago. A miserable fourth quarter against the Rams unfortunately overshadowed three good quarters in week one and even Broncos fans will admit they stole the game on Sunday.

As a head coach, Jon Gruden has been an upgrade. The wins will eventually come.

Where Gruden could use some help, though, is on the personnel side. His first offseason as the Raiders’ supreme leader (i.e. general manager) has been questionable at best. In nine months on the job, Gruden has already put up quite a resume of questionable personnel decisions.

Let’s take a look at the list…

The release of Michael Crabtree. It made some sense to not bring back Crabtree, but the way Gruden went about it probably cost the Raiders a little compensation. Crabtree’s release came almost immediately after Gruden signed Jordy Nelson and came during the hot portion of free agency. Sammy Watkins had just signed a three-year, $48 million deal and suddenly Crabtree’s $7.7 million cap number seemed like a bargain. Crabtree also had another year on his deal that would have allowed a team to dump him without assuming any dead money.

The Ravens would have much rather had Crabtree’s contract with the Raiders than the one they gave him as a free agent. His cap number is higher in Baltimore (by just under $300k) this year and next year (by more than a million). Should the Ravens cut Crabtree after this season, he’ll cost the team $4.6 million in dead money according to To cut him in 2020, the Ravens still take a dead money hit of about $2.3 million.

There’s no question the Raiders could have gotten at least a seventh-round pick for Crabtree had they done what the Browns did with Josh Gordon and announce that Crabtree was going to be released and listen for offers.

The Martavis Bryant trade was another decision by Gruden that can be fairly criticized. Giving up an early pick for a player on the final year of his deal is a huge risk, but the Raiders also weren’t clued into Bryant’s status well enough to know that a suspension might be looming. After all, whatever incident led to Bryant’s most recent matter with the league reportedly took place before he joined the Raiders.

If Bryant’s suspension is upheld (we should know in a couple weeks), the trade instantly becomes a colossal embarrassment. And here’s the question… if you are Gruden, why give up a third-round pick for Bryant on a one-year deal and then turn around a few months later and talk about the roster being in rebuild mode?

Should the Raiders have gotten more for Josh Rosen? The compensation wasn’t terrible, but the Cardinals were desperate. A savvy general manager probably would have worked over the Cardinals a little better on this one – or at least not let the cat out of the bag on who he wanted to draft with the 10th pick in the first place.

There’s a case to be made that the trade with Arizona was fine (you’ve read that here), but it’s worth noting that Mark Davis reportedly wasn’t happy with the compensation.

Given the Cardinals quarterback situation, it’s fair to wonder if Gruden could have gotten more.

The Khalil Mack trade is still a sore subject for many (if not, all). Some want to talk about it, some don’t. Gruden can say the trade was about money, but there’s more to the story than he’s letting on. He could have gotten the same compensation for Mack after the season, but Gruden essentially gifted away one of the league’s best players (at 27 years old) for a season with no compensation at all. The timing of the trade was terrible and the compensation wasn’t any better.

Where in his conversation with the Bears did Gruden ever let Chicago sneak in the idea of the Raiders giving up Mack and including a draft pick – much less a second rounder. Mack is making big money in Chicago, but as the salary cap balloons, his percentage of the cap is going to remain consistent with what the NFL has been paying elite pass rushers.

There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about him as a head coach, but Gruden has definitely underwhelmed as a personnel chief. Ideally, he can find someone he trusts enough to help in the personnel department next year – particularly in terms of valuating players and picks. On paper, Reggie McKenzie looks like a perfect fit for Gruden’s erratic personality, but so far his presence hasn’t helped.

To Gruden’s credit, however, the Raiders seem to have pulled off a better draft this year and most of Gruden’s signings haven’t underperformed to this point.

So that’s a positive.

twitter: @raidersbeat


17 thoughts on “Should Mark Davis Be Worried About Jon Gruden As Personnel Chief?

  1. So far, the Raiders are garbage! They look old and slow on D. Mack has better numbers than the entire Raiders D. You cannot judge this after 2 games, but there are some pissed off Raiders fans out there and I am one of them. Is QB the only position the Raiders are going to pay? At 0-2, this team has an 11% to 12% chance at the playoffs, looks like Gruden will get at least one top 10 draft pick.

  2. Is that because he and Reggie worked together and balanced each other off in the draft. His personal decisions need the same balance, because there questionable at best.

  3. What the!! So if the NFL and the Commission knew about the Bryant situation before the draft, just how the hell are they not required to alert both sides of all information. This makes NO sense at all.

    Are you sure this is accurate!?

  4. What the!! If the Bryant deal occurred before the draft, just how is the NFL and Commissioner NOT required to alert both sides of ALL things in the matter. Sheese were only talking about millions of dollars here….this makes NO sense!

    Are you sure this is accurate!?

  5. Gruden is an absolute failure. I wanted Gruden the coach not Gruden the personnel guy. This was a 12 win team 2 years ago there was talent here. His ego is out of control. He has no idea what he’s doing on the personnel side. The trade of Mack was the last straw I have been a raider fan since 1968 a season ticket holder for years and I’m done. They lie to us Mark Davis now Gruden. He is a disingenuous ego maniac his BS rally at Rickey’s where he had the audacity to tell us he was bringing Mack back at a time he knew he had no intention of doing so is just priceless. This organization has put us Raider fans thru one embarrassing move after another the Mack trade is the icing on the cake. Gruden took my hope upon his return and destroyed my love of the Raiders. I can’t stomach seeing a future great playing for another team while Gruden sits there saying stupid stuff like we need a pass rush! What? I hope he loses every game!

  6. They haven’t under performed. I disagree . The signings of leon hall ,marcus Gilchrist ,and DRC,where not good at all . These fellas are old and are old and are not going to get any better . They are gassed in the 4th quarter and it shows . And the signing of all the other has beens . Frostee Rucker, and Jordy all well past there prime . I dont see this team winning more than 5 games this year . Gruden may turn out to be a good coach again but let’s not fool ourselves . He was a lousy gm in Tampa, and had nothing to do with the talent that Oakland had when he was here last .

  7. I’m tired of all this negative comments about Jon, Sure he may have made questionable decisions, like strutting around on the side line(or is that me?) and hiring Greg Olson(or is that just me?) I do think the team is improving We have some rookies that are getting better every week, which is good to see, if they can stay healthy. The deal for Mack will work out if we can get a top running back and more defence help. But ofcourse that is next year, and we need to win this year, if for no other reason than make Chucky look GOOD, and make me HAPPY. It’s only 2 games and we got a long way to go I hope we can turn some heads from now on. That Kid in KC scares me!! Of course KC is one and out in the playoffs. All us Raider fan just have to keep our heads up and hope for the best. “GO RAIDERS GO” I’m 73 years old and been a Raider fan for over fifty year and will be a Raider fan when I die!!!!!

  8. Crabtree was sent packing because he was seen as a distraction in the locker room, the draft trade to the Cardinals wasn’t so desperate for the Cardinals because none of the Teams drafting from 11 to 14 were not looking for QB and the Raiders wanted some extra picks with a trade down knowing they could pick Kolton later. The Bryant trade was a risk they took with an extra pick they didn’t have obtained from the trade down with Cardinals. And the Mack trade was forced by the situation of Mack wanting to be the highest paid defensive player with the bar being raised by the Donald contract. We have the reasons for all these moves and Gruden has done as best as he could.

  9. U cant expect gruden to walk into a mess and and have it cleaned up and win a super bowl in one season even though we lost 2 games we look better than last year already the wins will come. Raiders for life

  10. I don’t care about Crabtree, as I think he was being a jackass in the locker room and wore out his welcome. I also believe Jordy Nelson can do everything Crab can do, once the offense starts to click on all cylinders.

    A 3rd round pick for Bryant was about 2 rounds too high, in my opinion. Otherwise, he’s an excellent WR.

    The Mack trade was incredibly stupid. Why not hang onto him and let him sit out all year, then open up the flood gates by announcing he’s on the trade block a month before the 2019 draft? They would have had a HUGE bidding war and would see immediate results. So dumb!

  11. This years’ draft was excellent . We benefited from other team’s making mistakes .The true test is the 1st round pick – that’s all on us . And , despite my previous thoughts , we appear to have hit on Miller 🤞🏻. We need a savvy , stand alone GM . Gruden let’s his emotions get the best of him . ( I just can’t shake the Mack give away )

  12. Yep. You hit it on all points. They should have gotten at least an additional 2019 2nd rounder from the Cardinals in the Rosen deal. And here are a few more: (1) There was no need to trade up in the 3rd round to get Brandon Parker (lost a pick); (2) cutting King before the draft signaled to teams needing a punter that they had to get ahead of the Raiders for their preferred punter (which Seattle and Green Bay did); (3) bringing in Doug Martin. He adds no value over Richard or Washington – just older and slower.

    Now conversely the draft picks look good. Even Victor who was cut is being paid like a roster player (while on the PS) with Tampa Bay.

  13. Gruden gets a big fat F so far. I don’t know what games this guy has been watching, but the Raiders are 0-2. The D looks old and slow, Mack has better numbers than the entire Raiders D after 2 games. The Raiders are staring at 0-3 right in the face. It is going to be a long year, don’t try and sell me on a garbage team, I have watched way to much football in my life to buy into crap.

  14. please show me where Jon Gruden did the negotiating? any where? Maybe he was doing crabtree a solid be letting crabs pick his team? This like so many others are just BS click bate with nothing more then your opinion. your boss must love it for the clicks it generates but as real raider fans your opinion is no better then the hermit who only watches football once a year.

  15. All valid points especially when you can get additional picks for ammo in future draft picks.

    But Gruden did say he wasn’t involved with the draft picks for Mack.

  16. My opinion letting Mack go was all bad , should of gave him the money he was asking for now without mack raiders defense can’t stop anything in the third and fourth quarter don’t know what the hell gruden was trying to prove by realising him.Raiders quarter back Carr is not throwing well at all he needs to find that timing with his receivers and get them to get open and go deep need to put more points on the score board by keeping the office out on field more and scoring Raiders defense players won’t be tired as much in the second and third quarter. I have faith in gruden he is a smart coach being out more then five years coaching makes a big difference won’t take that long to see gruden start winning games again.

  17. It’s obvious that Gruden has been out way to long. His coaching skills are disastrous, and trading your best D guy was **** stupid. But, this isn’t all his fault. The owner is a disgrace. To let a coach come in and take over what has been built over the years is a moral disgrace. My hope is that all Raiders fans everywhere will stop showing up for a bunch of ingrates who don’t give a ****. I hope Vegas dumps you, and the NFL decides you’re not worth it, and replaces you with an extension team.

Comments are closed.