Jon Gruden: ‘Obviously, Khalil Mack didn’t want to be here’

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders and first-year head coach Jon Gruden are facing increased criticism for trading Khalil Mack after the former Defensive Player of the Year dominated in his Chicago Bears debut Sunday night.

In speaking with his former ESPN colleagues in the lead up to Oakand’s season opener against the Los Angeles Rams Monday night, Gruden defended the trade by indicating that Mack didn’t want to be a member of the Raiders.

That’s an absolutely foolish stance if we’ve ever seen one. Mack gave everything to the Raiders during a brilliant four-year career with the team. He simply wanted to be paid like one of the best players in the game. A stance that Mack has backed up over and over again on the field.

Oakland didn’t want to pay Mack. The Bears were willing to make him a rich man. That’s why Mack is no longer a member of the silver and black. Gruden can spin it any way he wants, but the objective person will read right through said spin.

Let’s just hope for Gruden’s sake, his Raiders are not blown out by a Super Bowl contending Rams team at home Monday night. The optics that might come with that wouldn’t be great.