Trask: Gruden Should Have Signed Khalil Mack

Mack is a generational talent, Amy Trask said, and Jon Gruden shouldn't have traded him

Reiter Than You
November 29, 2018 - 9:21 am

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When Jon Gruden became head coach of the Oakland Raiders, he inherited a team that Reggie McKenzie built – and he immediately began selling players.

“Clearly Jon did not like the job that Reggie did,” former Raiders executive Amy Trask said on Reiter Than You. “Okay, fair enough. You were given total authority and you’re going to start a rebuild. That’s within your prerogative.”

Gruden traded Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, among others. The Raiders are 2-9 – the worst record in the AFC.

“But here’s where I’m perplexed,” Trask said. “It stumped me that one who’s rebuilding a team would not say, ‘Khalil Mack, you are the guy around whom I’m going to structure this rebuild.’ That is a generational talent. And at $55+ million that the organization spent on aging veterans who aren’t going to be there in a couple years, I would have funneled straight to Khalil.”

Instead, Mack was traded to the Bears, who are 8-3 and atop the NFC North. Chicago ranks fourth in total defense, second in scoring defense (19.2 points allowed per game), and first in turnover margin (+14).

“I’m asked all the time would Al have signed Khalil? My answer is unequivocally yes, he would have,” Trask said. “He would have found a way to sign him. He would have paid him a lot more money than many thought was appropriate. He would have been criticized and he wouldn’t have cared – because he would have rebuilt around Khalil.”

The Raiders are vying with the Arizona Cardinals (2-9) and San Francisco 49ers (2-9) for the first overall pick. Oakland hosts Kansas City (9-2) this Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET.