Jon Gruden's frustration with the Raiders' recent drafts and overall talent base has been no secret this season in his return to coaching and, not surprisingly, the franchise will be making considerable changes for 2019, sources said.
General manager Reggie McKenzie will not return, which is not a surprise and has long been assumed in NFL circles, and several other members of the scouting and football operations staff will be changing as well. Gruden has total control over the organization, and the Raiders are in the early stages of a deep rebuild. Gruden and owner Mark Davis will be looking to woo top candidates to the Raiders franchise in its final year as nomads before moving into their new digs in Las Vegas in 2020.
Gruden knows he needs assistance in overhauling the roster and making the most of the bonanza of draft selections he has already accrued in the next two drafts via his trades of Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper. The team will also be in position to attempt to lure top free agents in what could end up being the defining offseason of Gruden's tenure.
Oakland also still has several veteran players on its roster who are likely to be the subject of trade talks at the combine in February, as Gruden continues to sort out which players will be a part of the long haul for the Raiders and whom to cast aside. The Raiders have a shot to land the first-overall pick as well, which will be attractive to potential front-office candidates, too.
Davis himself spoke about the talent deficiencies that have emerged in Oakland in the years just prior to Gruden's arrival, and while he has been a champion of McKenzie in the past and remains very fond of him personally, Gruden will not have difficulty making what he deems to be the requisite changes in Oakland this offseason.
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