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Despite Jon Gruden poor personnel track record he placed blame on Reggie McKenzie for Raiders awful offseason Few have questioned how good of a coach Jon Gruden still is. But how bad of a general manager he still is can’t be stressed enough. But somehow Authentic Leon Hall Jersey , owner Mark Davis gave Gruden personnel authority over 2016 NFL Executive of the Year Reggie McKenzie. Just go back to Gruden’s days in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to show just how bad a GM he was. From 2004 to 2007, Gruden didn’t hit on a single early draft pick until he picked cornerback Aqib Talib in Round 1 in 2008. In the midst of that the quarterback guru passed on Aaron Rodgers in 2005 in favor of running back Cadillac Williams. He didn’t draft any better than Al Davis at the end of his life so he finally got fired after the 2008 season.So it is no wonder why he wanted the Raiders to take Johnny Manziel over Derek Carr in 2014. Not being able to find a guy that plays the position you’re so good at coaching should disqualify anyone from dipping into personnel decisions. Gruden is emotional as a coach so he’s definitely too emotional to be a GM.Emotion is probably what led to him signing running back Doug Martin after being impressed by a conversation with him. Martin has averaged 2.9 yards per carry over the last two years and yet a conversation had him a lock to make the roster since shortly after he arrived.It looks like that same emotion made Gruden trade superstar Khalil Mack for not bowing down to him as soon as he got hired. He seemed unable to handle Mack giving him the cold shoulder as a negotiation tactic while the city of Oakland and Mack’s former teammates loved on him. There was no real reason to hurry a trade of that magnitude up the way Gruden did. The Raiders could have simply waited for him to report then franchise him twice, taking him to age 30, if need be. They would have had a 3-year window to try to win a Super Bowl with him and once he’s 30, no one would be knocking down the door to give him a record-breaking deal so the Raiders probably could have signed him again after that.Taking two 1st-round picks for Mack tells everyone he’s planning for the future, not trying to win one while still in Oakland. The move wasn’t even the best it could have been for the future, giving up a 2nd-round pick. Then of course, he put all the blame on McKenzie for it. “I really wasn’t involved in all of that, so you’d have to ask Reggie to be honest with you,” he said Sunday.Raider Nation knows McKenzie loves draft picks and didn’t want to give up his best homegrown talent. This is the work of an emotional person that thinks the situation is “a grueling process.” McKenzie is patient, not an amateur so there’s no way he doesn’t get more for Mack and that’s assuming the unlikely scenario of McKenzie trading his star pass rusher. By the way, why would Gruden call the standoff“a grueling process” if he wasn’t involved?The aforementioned Martin is getting $1.5 million to back up Marshawn Lynch. Linebacker Tahir Whitehead, can’t rush the passer or cover but he’s getting $6.4 million. With Arden Key in town, Bruce Irvin could have stayed at outside linebacker, where he was a Top-100 football player. Cover LB Derek Johnson is getting $2.25 million at age 35 while Marquel Lee looked good in doing it all this preseason. Safety Reggie Nelson is done and getting $2.5 million while Marcus Gilchrist is getting $4.5 million to start over Karl Joseph. Joseph is still developing after playing out of position but still had a better PFF grade in 2017 (67.7) than Grilchrist (64.5).And Gruden justified his oldest roster in the NFL and the gutting of McKenzie’s draft picks from the roster by throwing McKenzie under an 18-wheeler instead of a bus.“Obviously the last three draft classes, we haven’t gotten a lot of production out of yet. I don’t think there’s anybody left from the ’13 Draft. But ’15, ’16, ’17, not much production at all,” said Gruden of McKenzie’s drafts. “With that being said Youth Johnny Townsend Jersey , you have to fill holes. Sometimes you have to fill those holes in free agency. Some of the guys that are free agents are a little bit older.”But the vets he brought in are no better than the picks the Gruden spoke of and he spent $17.4 million on Martin, Whitehead, Nelson, Johnson and Gilchrist. There would have been enough cap space to sign Mack if Gruden hadn’t signed them. Ask any GM in the NFL if they would trade all those guys for a generational talent like Mack and the money he’s being paid and what do you think the answer is? Gruden just did the opposite. He also managed to somehow bring up McKenzie’s failed second round picks as justification that throwing away a third round pick for Martavis Bryant was no big deal.“The guy has great talent,” Gruden said of Bryant, right after saying Bryant was outplayed by undrafted Keon Hatcher. “We released our second-round draft choice last year and the year before and the year before that. Not everything is a perfect science, but we’ll be criticized for that. It was a risk I thought well worth taking.”Then he cuts QB EJ Manuel, who played well in the final preseason game, and signed AJ McCarron. I’m not calling Manuel Nick Foles but McCarron can’t be a backup QB at Alabama now. Manuel’s passer rating was 120.9 this preseason while McCarron’s was 67.4. Nevermind the fact the Manuel has been in camp and knows the system. Gruden’s answer to that question? “Hopefully, Derek [Carr] stays healthy.”It’s funny how Gruden was more than happy to jump on a talented team McKenzie built after a bad year. Davis did say he’s been trying to get him for six years so something had to be there but suddenly the group he inherited isn’t good enough. Gruden might still be a great coach but he’s still a bad GM and throwing Reggie McKenzie under the bus isn’t going to change that.You’re not buying it, are you? Circus promoter extraordinaire PT Barnum once said, “Nobody ever lost a dollar by underestimating the taste of the American public.” From the mid to late 1800s, Barnum said just about anything to sell hoaxes and freakshows for big money. From the 1980s to the turn of the century, boxing promoter Don King made millions selling two crackheads fighting and-or a crackhead fighting Mike Tyson. In the1990s, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had a dynasty but keeps his team relevant with his gift of gab now. And to join him on the list of hustlers these days is Jon Gruden.Oakland Raiders’ owner Mark Davis felt like he needed someone to put butts in the seats when he moves to Las Vegas. So Gruden was happy to take his $100 million and hasn’t stopped talking since. First, he convinced Oakland fans he was coming in to win a Super Bowl before leaving. Then things didn’t work out early on so he is tearing the roster down and prepping for a rebuild. He knows there’s more patience in a rebuild than a win-now mentality, particularly with the fans in Las Vegas,But no matter what, he says whatever he has to say to make things look better than they are.“I have a cell phone just like you and everybody else. And I get a lot of calls from people that are dying to come play here,” Gruden told Howie Long before his Thursday Night Football game on FOX against the San Francisco 49ers. “I’m just telling you , they’re dying to play for the Raidas! To have salary cap space. To have a chance to talk to some of the people that you really want to wear the Silver and Black. The one’s you really want to wear the Silver and Black and represent this team, that’s exciting.”So Gruden didn’t really want Khalil Mack, the most dominant defensive player in the game?Who’s dying to be a Raider these days anyway? Gruden can’t talk to any of the players that will be top names in free agency next year, that’s tampering. But to get hypothetical with it, guys like Jadeveon Clowney, and Dee Ford are winning where they are. And it’s going to take contracts the size of Gruden’s to get Le’Veon Bell and Demarcus Lawrence to become RaidersFree agent Junior Galette is one player who has been stumping to play for the Raiders with no luck. He responded to Gruden’s statement in the affirmative.Yeah, Galette, the current free agent edge-rusher that had his last 10-sack season in 2014. Navorro Bowman, who led the Raiders in tackles last year, has repeatedly said he would like to return as well. Perhaps Dez Bryant and Colin Kaepernick are dying to play for the Raiders too? Of course a player that doesn’t have a job is dying to be Raider. They’re dying to get back in the NFL with any team. Eric Reid probably was dying to be a Raider before signing with the Carolina Panthers but Gruden chose to stick with guys like Reggie Nelson. The Raiders are horrible in Gruden’s comeback so far so he has to say something. He came back ready for the X’s and O’s of the game but wasn’t ready for the business side like Mack’s holdout. So after getting impatient, he unnecessarily traded him to start the nightmare. Then his band of washed up older players didn’t work out and the rebuild started. So like Barnum, King, and Jones before him, he’s saying what he can to hold fans’ interest. After all, Davis did pay him to sell the Raiders in the midst of their move to Vegas. And there’s nothing like the promise of a better tomorrow to sell your football team. He’ll likely keep that sell job going into next year’s draft, when fans’ hopes shift to the draft class. But at some point before too long, the hustle is over and he’ll have to produce something.

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