The Chicago Bears are celebrating after acquiring Khalil Mack, but it begs to wonder, what is Jon Gruden thinking?
Khalil Mack is a member of the Chicago Bears. It seems impossible to think that actually happened. Bears’ fans aren’t used to having nice things. The last time they had something nice, Brian Urlacher, management chased him out-of-town, ended his career and it took five years to smooth over all the hard feelings.
But this is a new era of Bears’ football and Ryan Pace has taken charge and is doing things the right way. The Bears acquired star edge Khalil Mack from the Oakland Raiders on Saturday and it sent Bears’ fans into a frenzy. Mack will make an immediate impact for the team and could elevate their defense into a top 5 or top 3 unit.
But how did the Bears get so lucky? It’s very easy to point the finger at the reason why, and it’s Jon Gruden, who is quickly proving himself to be the wrong man for the job in Oakland.
There were two major defensive holdouts this offseason: Mack with the Raiders and Aaron Donald with the Los Angeles Rams. The difference being is that the Rams and Donald had an open line of communication and no one was panicking on either side. It was clear a deal would be struck and Donald would be playing.
The Mack holdout was one of the most ridiculous things the NFL has seen play out in a while. The Raiders had the fifth-year option for Mack plus two franchise tags in their pocket so it seemed that they were playing hardball with Mack.
Reports surfaced over the summer that the Raiders and Mack hadn’t even spoken and it was about that time that the Mack trade rumors started gaining steam. No one could understand why the two sides weren’t talking but as the story progressed, the reason would start to clear up. As the last few days unfolded, some more news was unveiled by Mike SIlver.
This tweet may seem fairly innocuous, but there was a huge piece of info in this tweet, “the type of financial commitment it would take to keep Mack could instead by used on multiple players to shore up a flawed defense.”
That piece of information proves that Gruden wasn’t playing hardball with Mack, he didn’t want him at all. That decision is a head scratcher any way you slice it, and sure enough, less than 12 hours after this tweet was sent, Mack was headed to Chicago.
Taking it a step further was this piece of information via Mike Freeman:
Silver says Mark Davis didn’t want to trade him. Freeman says McKenzie didn’t want to trade him. The only man left standing is Chucky. Gruden is running that ship and this was his decision. Davis has committed to Gruden for a decade, so he’s going to have to let him run things to way he sees fit.
The fact that Jon Gruden thinks that five Aaron Lynch’s is worth more than 1 Khalil Mack is lunacy. He feels two Prince Amukamara’s is better than one Mack. He simply is proving that he doesn’t understand talent and positional value.
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Quarterback is the most important position on the field, Gruden gets that. But edge is the next most important position and the Raiders literally had the best edge in the NFL on their roster and they let him go.
But what about all the draft picks the Raiders received?
Let’s examine those draft picks. The bears upgraded a sixth round pick to a fifth round pick, and while that shouldn’t be overlooked as a sneaky positive for Ryan Pace, let’s look at the meat of the trade. The Bears sent a first round pick in 2019 and one in 2020 for Mack and also kicked in a 2020 3rd round pick, but the Raiders also kicked in a 2020 second back to Chicago.
Every team in the NFL would trade their 2019 first round pick for Mack, so let’s throw out the first rounder that Pace committed to Oakland this year. Let’s examine what else the Bears gave up to get Mack. A 2020 first, a 2020 third, and got back a 2020 second.
This tweet here is meant to be a joke, but it has some validity to it.
The Bears seemed headed in the right direction and in two years, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the will be drafting very late in the first round. Gruden currently is doing everything wrong and seems to be headed in the opposite direction. If the Raiders struggle and the Bears are very good, the difference in those two picks will be less than 10 selections.
So if the trade works out for Chicago, the additional compensation they gave for Mack is a slight downgrade in their 2020 first round pick and a 2020 third round pick? That compensation is laughable.
The game has passed Jon Gruden by. This decision proves that he has no idea how to construct an NFL roster. He spent the entire offseason signing 30-year-old veterans that suggest a win-now mentality, and yet he turns around and trades away the team’s best player and doesn’t get back proper compensation.
Perhaps Gruden can still coach, but with the amount of power Mark Davis has given him over the roster, it won’t be the coaching that does in Gruden, it will be his personnel decisions. Gruden is going to turn this franchise into a laughing-stock. The Raiders organization hasn’t done a lot right lately, and people thought the hiring of Gruden was a positive one.
But after the first six months on the job, it appears that Gruden is doing far more wrong than he is doing right and the Raiders have committed to him for the next decade. The Raiders trash is truly the Bears’ treasure in this case. Bears’ fans should be celebrating and shouldn’t care one iota about the poor decision-making in Oakland. But Bears’ fans understand mismanagement after suffering through these types of terrible personnel moves for a decade, Bears’ fans know exactly what’s in store for the poor fans of the Raiders and it isn’t going to be pretty.