NFL, Oakland Raiders

Jon Gruden may have dropped the ball on Khalil Mack

Khalil Mack may miss games this season as his holdout continues. Jon Gruden needs to handle the situation quickly.

The Khalil Mack-Oakland Raiders saga has no end in sight. The Raiders, who are declining to give Mack a contract extension, will probably be without Mack for a few games. New Raiders coach Jon Gruden apparently has a lot of say in whether Mack gets the extension or not.

Needing Gruden to sign off essentially has put him in charge of the purse strings when it comes to Mack’s extension (or lack thereof), which has apparently been a drag on talks that haven’t gotten off the ground. This was a point made forcefully clear by multiple sources – that unless team owner Mark Davis steps in, Gruden has the final say over whatever happens with Mack’s deal.

With both sides deadlocked, it seems Mack will miss time this season. The would be a blow to the Raiders and Gruden in particular. Gruden is known as an offensive coach, but he must take care of his best player. A larger contract should be his number one priority. As it is, Gruden, who has final say on contractural matters, seems reluctant to give Mack was he’s asking for.

It also doesn’t help that Gruden didn’t reach out to Mack when he took the job in February. A coach who hasn’t coached in 10 years must realize the NFL has embraced transparency with its athletes and their brands.

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Relationships matter now more than ever, and it looks as if Gruden didn’t care to establish one with his best player. So with August coming to a close and both the Raiders and Mack at a stalemate, Gruden must realize the power is truly in his hands.

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