I don’t mean stud players, I mean the frame of a house studs. By dealing Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack, plus cutting/trading most of their draft picks, the Raiders have entered a rebuild.
Many are putting the blame on Jon Gruden, the new coach. Others blame Reggie McKenzie, the general manager who made the draft picks Gruden is releasing.
BSP puts the blame squarely where it belongs: the Raiders owner, Mark Davis. There are many things you can say about Jon Gruden, but he’s no dummy. Jon Gruden didn’t want to deal Khalil Mack. Reggie McKenzie didn’t want to deal Khalil Mack. The owner wanted two things: Cheap players for his dome in Las Vegas and to get out from under Mack’s potential contract. He had to have told Gruden and McKenzie he couldn’t take on another $60 million in debt so he sent them to make the best deal he could. The same was true with Cooper and his upcoming contract demands. Many of the released players had value, but with the foundation of the team gone, the goal is to get as bad as possible, quickly. They clearly wanted to own a top 5 pick, and they clearly wanted to get additional quality players out of the next two drafts.
We get to Derek Carr. He is likely staying. Carr has his contract already paid into escrow. Davis is loathe to pay out money to players with future demands, but the ones he’s already paid are relatively safe. Carr could still go, but it would have to be to a really bad team in the NFC. Think a team without a QB, like the Giants. Gruden knows you don’t normally find great players in the bottom of the draft. If he’s getting a QB, it’s going to have to be a top 2 choice. Very few teams are lacking a real prospect at quarterback. Even a bad team like Arizona has a QB prospect. Maybe the Jags would be willing to give two #1’s for Carr but the Raiders do not want Carr coming back and killing them in the AFC playoffs. If the Raiders deal him at all, they would probably wait until the offseason when they know the Giants will end up with a very high pick.
So where does this leave the Raiders Fan? You must wait for competence till Vegas. Mark Davis has crapped all over his Oakland fan base with his anger towards Oakland politicians. Their legal threats to take the Raiders name from Davis clearly played a role in his desire to strip the team of its talent during the final seasons there.