Off The Record: Oakland Raiders executives forsake loyal fan base


By Joel Umanzor, Staff Writer

The Oakland Raiders dealt All-Pro Khalil Mack before the season started Sept. 6 in one of the most criticized trades in recent history and the current outlook for all those who claim the Silver and Black is nothing short of despair.
The Raiders received first and sixth round picks in the 2019 draft, and first and third round picks in 2020. The Chicago Bears, the team on the receiving end of the deal, got more out of the deal than many people realize.
Chicago not only acquired arguably the best NFL defensive player under 27 years old, a player who has yet to enter the prime years of his career, but in an astonishing turn of events received a second round pick from Oakland while not having to trade any active players.
With a much improved Raider secondary and a linebacking group that actually has some depth, not having Mack or someone else who can help Bruce Irvin put pressure on opposing quarterbacks is truly troublesome.
Fans can only scratch their heads and wonder what Raider coach Jon Gruden and the front office were thinking inking the deal.
Making a move like this makes Gruden seem like he thinks he can win without superstars.
This trade was so slanted toward the Bears in compensation that not even EA Sports Madden 19 would approve the trade.
The Raiders profess to embody the phrases “Commitment to Excellence,” “Pride and Poise” and “Just Win, Baby” while claiming loyalty to fans and former players with “Once a Raider, Always a Raider,” but the sad truth is that this franchise is an outdated antique that relies on nostalgia.
The much maligned Gruden watched along with the rest of America as Mack wreaked havoc on the Green Bay Packers offensive line on Sunday Night Football in Week 1.
Through the first two weeks of the NFL season, Mack has as many sacks as the entire Raider defensive unit. He also has one more forced fumble, one more defensive touchdown, one more fumble recovery and as many interceptions.
Pass rush, where Mack was most dominant, has been the main Raider weakness on an already depleted defensive unit through the first two weeks of the season.
“No, it doesn’t make me regret the trade,” Gruden said in his weekly media conference. “We made the trade.”
It’s not only that the Raiders who, already lacked a pass rush with Mack, traded their only defensive star, but that the front office has essentially given up on winning for the rest of their Oakland tenure.
Raider players now know that no player is safe from being shipped for draft picks. Now, the $100 million man, Gruden, is calling the shots.
The message has also been received loud and clear by fans of the franchise. It is either get on board with the Vegas move and trust that Gruden has the answers to almost 40 years of questions (the last Super Bowl won by the Raider franchise was 1984) or get off the train because the show will go on.
It’s the same excrement eclair the East Bay fan base has held its nose to and swallowed since the team moved back to Oakland in 1995.
A few winning seasons in 28 years of being back in the Bay Area is not a “Commitment to Excellence” but rather a “Commitment to Insanity.”