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Report: Raiders’ building divided between Gruden’s guys and holdovers

Michael David Smith

When Raiders coach Jon Gruden was hired this offseason, General Manager Reggie McKenzie stayed in place, as did much of McKenzie’s personnel staff. But while all those personnel people kept their jobs, that doesn’t mean Gruden is listening to them when he makes personnel decisions.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that there’s a disconnect in the Raiders building between Gruden and the people he has brought in and the personnel staff that was already there. The report says Gruden and McKenzie personally get along fine, but the people who were hired to work for a personnel department run by McKenzie are not on the same page with the new people who have been brought in with Gruden calling the shots.

The report describes Raiders scouts as frustrated with the Khalil Mack trade, as well as with some of the other personnel moves Gruden has made.

Gruden has taken a lot of heat for the Mack trade, but in fairness to Gruden, we don’t yet know what he’ll do with the Bears’ two first-round draft picks, or with all the cap space the Raiders will have in the years to come that they wouldn’t have if they had signed Mack to a long-term contract. If the Raiders pick a couple of All-Pros with those first-round picks, that trade is going to look a lot different in the years to come.

What we do know now is that when Gruden is making those draft picks, he’ll be relying on the counsel of his own hires, not the scouts who were in the building before he arrived.