Jon Gruden’s free-agent moves have not panned out very well

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
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The Raiders have made plenty of moves with Jon Gruden back at the helm. They haven’t gone so well.

From receiver Antonio Brown (a total disaster) to a trio of players who will be gone after two years (tackle Trent Brown, safety Lamarcus Joyner, receiver Tyrell Williams), these players added in 2019 haven’t done much to make things better.

And they’ve spent a lot of money in the process. Millions in money (although they ultimately may have avoided paying Antonio Brown much, if any).

So what will the consequences be? Well, what have the consequences of three straight non-playoff seasons been? There are no consequences for Gruden, not with a 10-year, $100 million contract and an owner who counts Gruden as a close friend if not a best friend. For Mark Davis, having Gruden as the coach means more than winning or making it to the playoffs.

Without significant fear of ultimate accountability, Gruden can do whatever he wants. He can be the mad scientist whose lab explodes. He can go 8-8 or worse every year and never make the playoffs.

That hasn’t insulated Gruden from external accountability. More and more people are starting to notice that Gruden really hasn’t done all that much since waltzing into a Tampa Bay locker room with a championship-caliber defense in 2002.

Some have asked whether and to what extent G.M. Mike Mayock has responsibility for the situation. He’s not blameless, but the reality is that Gruden runs the show.

Others believed that Mayock was in danger of getting the Paul Guenther treatment after the 2020 season ended. Mayock may have been saved by the simple fact that Gruden would have had a hard time hiring someone as good or better than Mayock as the next G.M.

Ultimately, this is Jon Gruden’s show. And while that show has had its moments (including a win over the Chiefs in 2020), the results to date have been disappointing. With each passing year, the pressure increases on Gruden to show that the game hasn’t passed him by. Whether that ever makes Mark Davis pass Gruden by remains to be seen.

25 responses to “Jon Gruden’s free-agent moves have not panned out very well

  1. Jon Gruden’s free-agent moves have not panned out very well…not panned out well? That’s like saying the Hindenburg had wonderful voyage but a small problem while landing.

  2. they never pan out well when you trade a probowl lt for a 5th round pick. why do teams continually trade good players to new england for nothing?

  3. He’s the new Jeff fisher. Going 8-8 or 7-9 and just keeps hanging around year after year, not doing much of anything

  4. the gams hasn’t passed Gruden by, he was never that good to begin with, said it yourself, the team he inherited was stacked, and that was really Dungy’s team, Gruden was just lucky he didn’t screw it up

  5. If Tampa was that loaded and Dungy is a HOF coach then why didn’t he win there?! Most overrated HOF coach in history Manning won him his Super Bowl ring.

  6. No, no they haven’t and anyone could have seen the disaster it was.

    Maybe these owners/GMs and coaches can all take math classes on zoom and read Pats Management Secrets that was released over 15 years ago? lmao

  7. Well he is the same yo-yo who helped convinced many leading up to the 2017 Draft that Mitch Trubisky was every bit the QB Watson and Mahomes were, lol.

  8. prophessor4 says:
    March 9, 2021 at 10:11 am
    they never pan out well when you trade a probowl lt for a 5th round pick. why do teams continually trade good players to new england for nothing?

    3 0 Rate This



    He waits, waits some more, maintains cap health and leverages the market up against teams that don’t do what he does. Most NFL teams operate like there is no cap. Look how many teams are in cap hells right now.

    It’s not a coincidence, he’s a master and the the greatest sports architecht ever.

    The lowered cap after a bridge year only helped the Pats.

  9. Gruden as a coach is so overrated. He is barely a .500 coach and the team he had that won a SB was with players brought in by someone else. As a personnel/GM analyst he has been a dismal failure. Facts are stubborn things.

  10. The blame for Gruden’s failures fall on Mark Davis. Davis was so infatuated with Gruden he gave an insane contract to a coach that has only had 5 double digit wins in a season during his 14 year career. That’s 9 seasons at 8-8 or worse.

    Giving Gruden the power to do what he wants with little chance for retribution over 10 years was a bad decision that will sting Mark’s checkbook for years to come.

    It’s time for the GruMock experiment to end, but Mark doesn’t want to part with all that cash.

  11. The failure of the Jon Gruden era of these Raiders ultimate comes down to his complete and utter wishy-washy lack of long-term commitment to the QB position after all these years, we still don’t what his plan is.

  12. I hope he is with the Raiders for that entire contract, and more. If not, I hope he fails in a way that makes people realize that he doesn’t really know that much, and does not warrant returning to TV once this is over. While I consider Buck the most annoying to listen to on TV, Gruden is a close second.

  13. It’s not a coincidence, he’s a master and the greatest sports architect ever.

    Sure looks like coincidence based on last years performance. Looks like “the greatest sports architect ever” left for Tampa Bay.

  14. Intelligent people who follow pro football knew bringing Gruden back out of retirement and hiring a television personality as GM was going to be a hilariously disastrous clown show.

  15. Gruden is the ultimate con man. Referred to as a qb guru, interestingly enough though, he’s never developed a qb in his coaching career. He won with Dungy’s team in the Super Bowl, but he’s a barely above average coach at that.

    Definitely knows how to market a subpar product (himself) as platinum.

    Now for that pathetic defense, if I’m Mike Mayock, I’m going to call those women at that Bath store who tackled the lady who refused to wear a mask and offer them contracts. They wrapped up and took down their target better than anyone on the Raiders “defense” could ever do.

  16. The biggest mystery out there is how anybody thought Gruden would actually be successful. Even if you give him 100% of the credit for that Super Bowl with Tampa, he’s now coached 9 seasons since and won ZERO playoff games. (And only appeared in two!) That’s not exactly a promising trend.

  17. Yeah because Gruden knew Trent Brown and Tyrell Williams were going to be injured and that AB would turn into a lunatic racist! Sad what a tool Florio is leaving out facts. Funny Florio didn’t mention Agholor.

  18. It sure bugs Florio that Gruden has this ten year contract doesn’t it? Every time there’s a bit of negative news coming out of Raiders Nation, he does one of these drive by articles reminding us all that Gruden failed at this or that and has years left on his contract.

    Big deal. The coaching carousel is interesting to follow, I’ll completely agree. But I think some consistency is good for the league.

  19. The Raiders are a tax write-off. The dysfunction runs through that family like a comb through baby fine cadaver hair.

  20. You could look at most teams and see a similar pattern. The Chiefs the last few years have signed guys like Carlos Hyde and Xavier Williams and they are no longer on the team. And does anyone really think Sammy Watkins or Alex Okafor were worth the money spent on them? Is Andy Reid going to be held accountable?

  21. I look at what Gruden’s done throughout his career when he didn’t have a HOF QB, and I compare that to what Bill Belichick has done in the years he didn’t have a HOF QB, and Gruden is much better. So if Bill is the GOAT, I’d say Gruden doesn’t have anything to worry about. At least he has one super bowl ring that he won without a HOF QB. That’s one more than Belichick.

  22. Make no mistake, Mayock is the GM in name only – Gruden controls ALL personnel moves (trades, draft picks, free agency). Throughout history there have been excellent HC’s who have failed when having control of personnel. The sad thing with the Raiders is that Gruden as a HC is below average so rewarding someone like him control of personnel was an act of insanity. The blame falls squarely with Son-of-Al.

  23. They beat KC and NO among other top teams last season and were simply damaged by injuries – they don’t have the depth to compete on that front. They should be in the playoffs within the next couple year with any luck at all.

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