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Rumor: Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie didn’t want to trade Khalil Mack

Reggie McKenzie, Khalil Mack

The Oakland Raiders made the massive decision to trade star defensive end Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears on Saturday. Although, it doesn’t seem like that decision ultimately came from the team’s general manager, Reggie McKenzie.

According to Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, one team executive got the sense that the Raiders GM did not want to trade Mack away.

From one team executive who spoke to Raiders about Mack, speaking of Reggie McKenzie: “It was crystal clear to me that Reggie didn’t want to trade Mack.”

It’s been known for some time that after signing a massive 10-year, $100 million deal, head coach Jon Gruden has had final say on all personnel decisions. And the likely implication of this report is that it was Gruden’s call to pull the trigger on the Mack trade, not McKenzie’s.

The Raiders’ moves in Gruden’s first offseason in charge have been suspect at best. His draft was filled with questionable and risky selections. His big trade acquisition (Martavis Bryant) is also already gone as he faces another possible suspension from the league.

But the Mack deal is obviously the biggest decision of all. Instead of paying arguably their best player, they opted to ship him off for future draft assets.

Moving forward, it remains to be seen how this whole Mack saga will affect the relationship between Gruden and McKenzie. It seems hard to imagine a GM being comfortable with this setup where he has his powers marginalized, especially when it comes to making the major team decisions.