Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders have received a lot of attention this NFL offseason, and it's not just because of the Raiders head coach's return to the league.
The attention has come due to the situation regarding the future of Khalil Mack with the franchise, who continues to boycott training camp and the preseason, and there appears to be no end in sight.
It is widely expected as well that the defensive end will not report to the team before their second preseason game on Saturday against the Los Angeles Rams.
This means he will be fined another $814,000, bringing his two missed preseason game total to $1.628 million.
Asked recently Peter King of NBC, via Pro Football Talk, whether Mack will show up, Gruden was more optimistic, as he said, “Hope so. Working on it.”
The Raiders head coach also stated, however, that he hasn’t been talking to the defensive end.
He said: “I have not been able to lately, sure haven’t. It’s been frustrating, been tough. Hoping for the best."
In a separate interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Gruden said: “This is a negotiation. Joel Segal is Khalil’s agent. They’ve got their plan. General Manager Reggie McKenzie and the people negotiating on our end have a plan.
"I’m coaching the team. At this time, he’s not here, and we have to focus on what we can control, and that’s just working.”
The fact that Mack hasn't been able to work out a deal with the Raiders yet has led to speculation that he could be traded away by the franchise so that they don't lose him for nothing next summer when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Possible trade destinations for Mack if the Raiders want to trade him away this preseason include the Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, and the Chicago Bears.
However, for the time being at least, it seems Gruden and Oakland are pretty content with waiting this one out and seeing what Mack does once the preseason is over and the regular season arrives, and when he starts missing game checks then.
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