fbpx

Raiders’ Tumultuous Season Continues With Firing Of General Manager

NFL News With Oakland Jon Gruden has a 3-10 football team in Oakland. He’s also in the first year of his 10-year, $100 million contract. Now he has complete...

NFL News With Oakland

Jon Gruden has a 3-10 football team in Oakland. He’s also in the first year of his 10-year, $100 million contract.

Now he has complete control of the mess he has made.

The Raiders fired general manager Reggie McKenzie on Monday, once again proving the NFL credo: What have you done for me tomorrow?

It was McKenzie who cleaned up a salary cap mess and restored a roster denuded by a run of disastrous draft picks (JaMarcus Russell, Rolando McClain) and trades. It was McKenzie who put in place the players that the previous coach, Jack Del Rio, molded into a 12-4 playoff team during the 2016 season.

Raiders owner Mark Davis dumped Del Rio for Gruden, who had coached the Raiders in the past, after 2017’s 6-10 season. Gruden, armed with a big contract (and ego), began constructing his own personnel charts and guiding the team in directions McKenzie would not.

In that 2016 season, linebacker Kahlil Mack was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. Gruden traded him to the Chicago Bears. He also traded receiver Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys, helping the Cowboys turn their season around.

The Raiders? Well, they’ve got lots of draft picks. And that’s a great way to build. Which a coach (and ostensible GM) can do when he’s got nine more years.

McKenzie is a sound, solid and patient thinker. There are plenty of teams that can use his acumen in the front office. He clearly knows how to fix a mess not of his own making, and the NFL is full of those (the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins come immediately to mind).

Few coaches have full control of personnel in the NFL. It’s too big a job, and it creates a conflict when the coach insists on playing his draft picks simply because he drafted them and not because they can play. It’s two mistakes in one. Gruden has a personnel assistant, and we wish him luck. He’s going to need it.

McKenzie will be just fine. Wherever he lands.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

Follow @TwistityNews