The Raiders traded Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday, eight days after Gruden had said Cooper wasn't being shopped and a few months after voicing plans to build the offense around the wideout.
"The Mack trade was a real stiff jab", one player told The Athletic.
Raider Nation, let's agree that the recent buzz surrounding the team has grown tiresome, especially for the players. The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday.
"You have to wonder if we haven't been playing for draft picks all along", a player said. "We didn't want to believe it was coming, and Coach said we weren't going to trade him".
"I think there's a lot of us that need to get better, we're 1-5, and Seattle was ugly", Smith said.
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"Nobody was happy when we traded Khalil. How could you be?" You never ever want to trade elite, homegrown talent.
At this point, Jon Gruden is coaching and orchestrating like a man who knows he'll be employed far longer than any of his players.
Raiders Speculation now turns to Carr, whose contract has four years remaining at an average of $19.6 million per season. And having five first-rounders in the next two years is pretty good.
Gruden said publicly that he was not entertaining trade offers for Cooper, and he was apparently telling the team the same in private. He did, however, speak with ESPN and say the Raiders are done dealing and are "trying to stay competitive".
Talking with The Athletic, Smith said Gruden has an "open-door policy" for players to come in and express themselves fully on the team's condition.
It's all about accountability, and right now the players on the Silver and Black - according to Smith - have no problem looking in the mirror and facing the reality of the situation. "Our job is to play football".