"We're going to be second-guessed until the cows come home on this," says Jon Gruden, almost at a loss for words.
A lot of NFL insiders seem to believe Khalil Mack was worth every penny of the $141 million extension he signed after being obtained by the Chicago Bears, even Raiders' coach Jon Gruden is none too pleased with the decision to let him slip. Gruden was asked on Sunday the decision to deal Khalil Mack out of conference, and Gruden couldn't for the life of him come up with a proper line of reasoning, nor did he really try.
"We're going to be second-guessed until the cows come home on this. I understand that," Gruden said, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. "It wasn't my goal to trade Khalil when we got here," he confessed. "One of the reasons I'm here is because of him." Gruden did however note that his team was dealt a forced hand when contract talks broke down in camp. In short, he's in no way interested in taking responsibility, even though head coaches are often seen as figureheads for whoever cuts their check.
Gruden did his best to deflect blame away from player or management, but in exonerating himself, he may have done just that. Unless you don't think Khalil Mack is worthy of being paid like one the best defensive players in the game, it's hard not to fault GM Reggie McKenzie for bungling contract negotiations. In closing, Gruden reaffirmed his commitment to building a winning team in Oakland perhaps on a doubly sour note. "We also have to build this football team. We've had one winning season in 14 years," he said.