When Raiders coach Jon Gruden recently told Chris Mortensen of ESPN in the aftermath of the deal that sent receiver Amari Cooper to Dallas that no further trades will be coming, no one believed it.
And no one should believe it, because (as Vic Tafur of TheAthletic.com writes, via Rotoworld.com) “[e]veryone is available.”
The answer came in response to the question of whether guard Kelechi Osemele could be traded, and it comes amid increasing chatter that 2016 first-round cornerback Gareon Conley (who slid to the Raiders amid an eleventh-hour rape allegation) could be traded.
The inconsistent messages from the team are created potential problems for coach Jon Gruden. As an unnamed player told Tafur, “When what you say and what you do are two different things, there is a problem.”
That say-one-thing-do-another characterized Gruden’s tenure in Tampa. If he hasn’t shed those tendencies after nearly a decade out of football, that doesn’t bode well for the balance of his career.
In Oakland, Gruden (per Tafur) told players that Cooper wouldn’t be traded. And then he was traded. That has created a sense that, as another player told Tafur, “I think many of us realize we won’t be here next year. We are just waiting to see if we will be here next week.”
One player went on the record. “Of course I’m concerned about the locker room,” tight end Lee Smith told Tafur.
It all adds up to more struggles for a 1-5 team that seems to be in full-blown rebuild mode, which is become a tanking. And, of course, we know it’s a tanking because Gruden has publicly insisted that the team isn’t tanking.