One of the more insane moments of the NFL offseason came a couple of weeks ago when the Oakland Raiders shockingly traded their superstar pass rusher Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears in exchange for two first round picks.
The trade was a culmination of a deteriorating relationship between Mack and the new Raiders head coach, Jon Gruden, who up until the trade had zero contact amongst each other.
Prior to Monday night’s season opener against the Los Angeles Rams, Gruden sat down for an interview with his old gig – ESPN and talked about the trade.
Lets just say, Gruden didn’t hold back:
“Obviously, Khalil Mack didn’t want to be here.”
– Jon Gruden pic.twitter.com/t1NQzF5bVo
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 10, 2018
“Obviously, Khalil Mack didn’t want to play here. That’s what’s being missed here. He was under contract, Lisa, you know, he was under contract. He never showed up for an OTA. He never showed up for training camp, and it was obvious he wasn’t going to show up for the season. So, don’t forget that. We have to get ready to play, and I want players that want to be here, that want to help us put this thing back in high gear.”
Despite Gruden’s odd explanation, Mack’s holdout wasn’t about not wanting to play in Oakland, it was more-so about the desire to get a new contract in order to stay in Oakland. Gruden admitted that the Raiders weren’t able to come close to the $141 million that the Bears gave Mack after the trade.
As long as Mack continues to perform like he did in his Bears debut, Gruden will be left answering questions as to why he let such an amazing talent like Mack walk out the door.