Now, Jon Gruden can’t fire himself.
According to reports, the Oakland Raiders fired current GM Reggie McKenzie.
The Oakland Raiders were obviously heading in a different direction with the GM position after this season, as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported on Sunday a parting of the ways was coming after the year. But the team decided to make a move earlier than expected and fired current GM Reggie McKenzie.
News outlets predicted the split was inevitable considering the power structure in Oakland. Head coach Jon Gruden had the power of Thanos with his 10-year, $100 million contract, that most Raider fans would now consider to be a bad early investment. Though not confirmed, it’s assumed that Gruden will operate basically with ultimate authority. But the writing was always on the wall that McKenzie’s days were numbered.
Since taking over this season Gruden’s lead the Silver and Black to an abysmal 3-10 record, traded away the now flourishing Amari Cooper, chipped at the confidence of his starting QB, and refused to re-sign the second coming of Lawrence Ray Taylor Lewis.
After a decade-plus of basement dwelling years in the AFC West, the Raiders hired McKenzie in 2012 to turn the franchise around by drafting shrewdly and successfully. Carr, Cooper, and Mack were all “McKenzie guys”, so it makes sense for the second Gruden era to continue without him as well.
The Raiders gave McKenzie the opportunity to stay on and see out the 2018 season but he declined. The former linebacker turned NFL exec’s departure also gives Gruden one less scapegoat to hide his undeniable inadequacies as a head coach.