Whether it’s reduced to writing and signed or simply lurking on a legal pad in Bob LaMonte’s office, the terms of Jon Gruden’s deal to coach the Raiders undoubtedly have been negotiated. One of those terms undoubtedly will be that Gruden has full control over the football operations — specifically, the 53-man roster and the draft.
So what about G.M. Reggie McKenzie? Hired in 2012 and extended through 2020 two years ago, McKenzie is the G.M. He most likely has control over the roster and the draft. The Raiders, therefore, will have to figure out this potentially awkward complication.
A league source tells PFT that it’s believed McKenzie will stay in Oakland for at least a year with Gruden, as the new coach gives McKenzie chance to become Gruden’s table-setter with the Raiders. But if McKenzie’s current deal gives him final say and if the Raiders will be breaching that term by giving final say to Gruden, McKenzie potentially will be able to walk away, if he chooses.
However it plays out, Gruden will need someone with the skills to evaluate players. Although his coaching skills remain respected (despite a not-so-stellar stint in Tampa, but for the first-year Super Bowl win), the thinking is that Gruden lacks the skills to shop for the groceries. So whether it’s McKenzie or someone else, Gruden will need plenty of personnel help in Oakland.