Khalil Mack says call from Jon Gruden might have kept him with Raiders

Khalil Mack says call from Jon Gruden might have kept him with Raiders

If only Jon Gruden had used some of his rollover minutes, maybe Khalil Mack still would be a Raider.

During NBC's Sunday Night Football broadcast, analyst Cris Collinsworth shared a conversation he recently had with the new Bears edge rusher.

"I asked [Khalil Mack], if Jon Gruden had called you and said, 'Hey, you're our guy, no way in the world we're letting you get out of here, you're the best player we have,' would it have made a difference? And he said, 'Yeah, it would have,' " Collinsworth said near the end of the third quarter of the Bears-Packers broadcast.

Earlier in the quarter, Collinsworth dropped this nugget that seems to preface that conversation.

"[Mack was] definitely upset he didn't get more attention from Jon Gruden during the process," Collinsworth said.

That first Collinsworth quote caught the attention of Nick Wright on FS1's First Things First on Monday morning, and he had harsh words for Gruden for trading Mack.

"This is why you don't trade a player this good," Wright said. "And Cris Collinsworth slipped something in on the broadcast. Now, maybe Khalil Mack is re-creating history, but I'm going to take him at his word. ...

"Well, that's a phone call Gruden's going to regret [not making] for his 10 years in Oakland, but what might be his three or four years in Oakland because I don't know how much further he'll make it. You can't get rid of a player like that and get fair value. You just can't."

Yikes. Maybe Gruden should use some of that $100 million contract to buy a phone plan so he can call his players.

Is Derek Carr too sensitive? Raiders QB bashed by NFL coaches, exec

Is Derek Carr too sensitive? Raiders QB bashed by NFL coaches, exec

Derek Carr is entering a critical season in his second year under Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. It could be make-or-break for the QB as the Silver and Black head into their final season in Oakland. 

After looking like an MVP candidate in 2016, he's been trending down in the eyes of many. The Athletic's Mike Sando presented his Quarterback Tiers survey Monday after talking with fifty-five anonymous coaches and executives who rank the QBs from Tier 1 to Tier 5. 

Carr was voted into Tier 3 as the No. 20 overall quarterback, one spot behind 49ers starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo. And the comments on the Raiders' signal-caller aren't too pretty. 

Voters brought up three specific plays that show the kind of quarterback Carr was last season. One was him throwing the ball away on fourth down, another example was him looking scared in the final minutes of the Raiders' Week 8 loss to the Colts, but the final example is what really stands out. 

“The Chiefs game, he throws a pick-six and the guy (Jared Cook) isn’t even running the route. It was, ‘What the f--k?" the voter said to Sando.

Carr's ability to handle Gruden's style has been questioned ever since Chucky signed his 10-year deal with the Raiders. Through one season, those questions aren't going away. 

“He is sensitive and needs encouragement, and that is not the style he is going to get,” an offensive coach said to Sando. “When someone shows disappointment in him, he shrinks. The head coach not coming out and completely endorsing him has to be eating him alive."

[RELATED: Five bold predictions for upcoming Raiders season]

If the Raiders endure another losing season and Carr doesn't significantly improve, he could be looking for another job when the team moves to Las Vegas. It sounds like plenty of people around the league believe that could easily be the case.

NFL preview 2019: Five bold predictions for upcoming Raiders season

NFL preview 2019: Five bold predictions for upcoming Raiders season

Summer vacation is winding down, and that means one thing: Football almost is back.

The Raiders will open training camp Friday in Napa, hoping to put together a final season to remember in Oakland.

Year 1 of Jon Gruden's second reign was a dud, but the Raiders are much improved and have the pieces to be a team that can shock the NFL in 2019.

Worst-to-first stories happen all the time in the NFL, but I wouldn't be bold enough to pick the Raiders to beat out the Chiefs and Chargers in the AFC West. Or would I?

Click for five bold predictions for Raiders' 2019 season