NFL, Oakland Raiders

The Raiders are paying the price for giving Jon Gruden so much power

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis recently admitted Jon Gruden is the de facto leader of the Raiders. Did Gruden get too much power too soon?

Kanye West once stated that “no one man should have all that power.” It’s become evident that the Oakland Raiders missed that memo.

The Oakland Raiders signed Jon Gruden to a 10-year, $100 million contract this past spring. With that signing, Gruden essentially would become the show-runner of the entire operation. Although Gruden likes to give off the impression he’s just the coach, the team’s personnel moves as of late say otherwise.

Raiders owner Mark Davis has all-but confirmed what was already understood. He stated that if the team is going to search for a general manager, they have to wait until next spring. Since Gruden signed a contract last spring, that would be the time for the Raiders to potentially look at his status and evaluate him. In short, Gruden has coaching and general manager prestige. The Raiders gave complete control to a coach who hasn’t been on the sideline in 10 years. Said Davis:

The General Manager sees an end basically in April or May after they’ve drafted the players and after they’ve gotten through the first series of free agency. So right now, there’s a lot of people that are on other teams that may be suitable for the Raiders, but we can’t talk to them, and we won’t be able to talk to them until May or so. So right now we’re limited to talking to people who are not on other teams or in the college ranks or something of that nature. That’s the interesting part of this.

Usually, general managers aren’t hired until January and other teams block access to candidates until then. Gruden’s contract has granted him unquestioned control, but it’s prevented the Raiders from looking to replace Gruden until the spring at the latest. So Gruden will still have full say in the team’s personnel decisions. But his decision making has been the recipe for why the team has fallen apart this season.

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The Khalil Mack debacle is the biggest example, but the Amari Cooper trade also stands out. And of course Gruden’s Raiders currently sit at 3-10. He hasn’t lived up the hype. The Raiders gave a man too much at once, and are paying the price for it.

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