Jon Gruden is feeling the heat after trading two players expected to be key members of the Oakland Raiders’ future. But the issue isn’t so much about the decision to trade Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, it’s more about how the situations were handled. In both instances, Gruden had spent time prior to the deals making it known he wasn’t trading either player.
In fact, the Raiders coach had vowed that both Mack and Cooper were big parts of the plan in both the short and long-term at various points. These comments, followed by decisions to move them, have led the fanbase and most of the media failing to believe that Gruden is truly done dealing.
But as Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal revealed, he’s aware that people aren’t big on how he handled the Cooper trade. In turn, he stated he’ll “never say ‘never’ again.”
“I didn’t see us making a trade the other day,” Gruden said. “I really didn’t. Sometimes, your plans change, whether you like it or not. You don’t know who is calling or what they’re going to say. You really don’t. That goes in all phases of life. … I don’t see us making any more trades, but I’ll never say ‘never’ again to anybody. If I said ‘never’ to you, I’m sorry. I don’t think I did.”
Derek Carr’s Outlook
It’s safe to assume part of Gruden’s post-Cooper trade comments have to do with Derek Carr. There has been swirling speculation that the 27-year-old will be moved either this year or in the 2019 offseason. He’s had a hit-or-miss start to the season, but it’s tough to envision the Raiders being a far better team with a rookie next season over Carr.
Gruden commented on Carr (sort of) in the same story to Gehlken.
“I don’t see us making any more trades. Certainly, I don’t see us trading our quarterback.”
The decision to state the unlikeliness Gruden trades “our quarterback” doesn’t make anyone feel better. At least he didn’t say it wasn’t happening at all. If that were the case and a trade wound up happening, a lot of people may be quick to turn on the Raiders coach during his first year of a 10-year deal.