Some two hours later, the 2017 first-round draft pick was still a Raider and was on the field to start practice. Same with strong safety Karl Joseph, the team’s first-round pick in 2016, and defensive end Bruce Irvin. So too was quarterback Derek Carr. In fact, the only player missing was veteran cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who announced his own retirement on social media earlier in the day, after telling his fellow cornerbacks of his plan the night before.nfl nike jerseys for cheap
It made for a relatively quiet trade-deadline day for a 1-6 team expected to make a splash with a full-blown fire sale heading into Thursday night’s game at the San Francisco 49ers. Besides, the deconstruction of the Raiders under returning coach Jon Gruden had already been well underway, what with Oakland having dealt its first rounders from 2014 and 2015 in All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack on Sept. 1 and Pro Bowl receiver Amari Cooper on Oct. 22.
The signs were there all along. All you had to was sift through the noise.
Because almost from the moment Gruden returned, both he and owner Mark Davis talked about the need to “build this thing up” in Oakland. Wait, what?
Sure, the Raiders were coming off a down season in which they only won six games a year after going 12-4 and playing in the postseason for the first time in 14 years.
But wasn’t Gruden and his incoming coaching staff supposed to be the difference in getting the Raiders back into contention? The team just needed a good scrub down from Chucky, rather than a full-blown teardown and rebuild, no?
Plus, that would counter what Davis said after the Raiders received approval to move to Las Vegas in March 2017 — they would do everything in their power to win a Super Bowl for Oakland before relocating in 2020. The future seemed bright after the highs of 2016.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap
But deconstruction and reconstruction takes longer than two years. Remember, the Raiders went through this after Al Davis died in 2011. As Mark Davis said at the time, it was a two-phase, four-year project — two years of deconstruction overseen by then-new general manager Reggie McKenzie in 2012 and 2013, followed by two years of reconstruction, in 2014 and 2015.
It worked, too, the Raiders becoming a league darling in 2016, with Carr a league MVP candidate and the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in Mack.