Jon Gruden is stuck between shoddy management and a hard place, his locker room.
Two days ago, Yahoo Sports reported a fissure between Jon Gruden and his Oakland Raiders' players. The team made the headlines on Monday after dealing their number one receiver to the Dallas Cowboys, leaving many roster players to wonder what to make of the season, the season after, or the season after next. It appears any hope Gruden would help the Raiders would overcome an apparent "dark age" have been quashed by a series of questionable trades and personnel decisions.
According to The Athletic, the Raiders' players are pissed Gruden didn't bother telling them about the trade, with of many players interviewed by the periodical, calling question to their coach's accountability. One player who remains anonymous was quoted as saying, "You have to wonder if we haven’t been playing for draft picks."
If the team is in rebuild mode, it seems the players were not made aware at the onset of training camp. A lack of communication can plague any organization, much less a football team. When the decision to trade Amari Cooper to the Cowboys was rendered, team officials pulled the wide receiver from practice and whisked him away from his teammates.
"The Mack trade was a real stiff jab," an anonymous Raiders player told Vic Tafur of The Athletic. "But the Cooper one was like a knockout punch, especially because we had just walked back in the door from the bye. We didn’t want to believe it was coming, and Coach said we weren’t going to trade him."
You've got to sympathize with Raiders' fans right about now. My sincere apologies, if you are one yourself.