Raiders' Jon Gruden, Reggie McKenzie likely heading for a split before 2019 NFL Draft
Sources around the league expect this to be McKenzie's last year with the franchise
There were no shortage of rumblings about the long-term viability of Raiders new head coach Jon Gruden and incumbent general manager Reggie McKenzie when the former Super Bowl-winning coach took over the franchise in January, and at this point executives around the NFL would be shocked if Oakland does not shake up its front office in 2019.
Yes, it's still early, and the Raiders have only played one game under this management group, but the dynamics between the two have not been great and Gruden's actions and comments alone point to significant change in the offseason. The Raiders' recent drafts have produced few players and Gruden's staff has already cut a host of former top picks. The franchise is under intense scrutiny for the way the Khalil Mack holdout and subsequent trade was handled, and facing a potential rebuilding year despite the oldest roster in the NFL, it's clear already the Raiders will be doing more extreme personnel shuffling in the years to come.
It is absolutely imperative that the Raiders maximize the return in the next two drafts -- with four first-round picks in that span that will form the young core of the team as it relocates to Las Vegas -- and numerous general managers, personnel directors and NFL officials would be shocked if there are not new decision-makers in place in Oakland well before the 2019 draft. It's being viewed as a near certainty in industry circles, and Gruden has a vast network of former colleagues he could potentially call upon from his previous stints in the NFL, as well as a group of young rising executives at other clubs who may be intrigued about working with him.
Gruden has immense power and control within the Raiders franchise, with owner Mark Davis chasing him for years with huge contracts trying to lure him back, and, especially if this is a difficult season for them in the AFC West, more sweeping changes are anticipated next January to secure the front office that will eventually make the move to Nevada.
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