Oakland Raiders: Looking at the pros and cons of dealing Khalil Mack

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 04: Khalil Mack
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 04: Khalil Mack /
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Oakland Raiders
OAKLAND, CA – DECEMBER 03: Khalil Mack #52 of the Oakland Raiders strips Geno Smith #3 of the New York Giants of the ball for a turnover during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 3, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Con: The effect on the locker room

This is the one Gruden should be most concerned about. Mack had the respect of every single man in that locker room. He was a team leader, and a brother to most of these guys. If you asked each and every guy in that locker room who’s played alongside Mack, to a man, there is no doubt they’d tell you that they would run through a wall for him.

And now, he’s gone. Traded away over money.

That is going to have a chilling effect in the immediate future, as evidenced by Bruce Irvin‘s profane Tweet of disbelief, and Derek Carr’s not-so-profane Tweet that expressed the same sentiment. Even Raiders legend Charles Woodson chimed in with his stunned disbelief.

You hope most of the guys understand that it’s a business, and they can’t control the front office. You hope that they can rally around each other, and produce at a high level as a team.

Make no mistake, Gruden is going to have a lot of damage control to do in that locker room. You don’t just ship out a foundation piece, somebody who has the respect of everybody in the building, like that and have zero repercussions.

Suffice it to say, Carr and company will be waiting on Gruden to explain it all to them. To paraphrase the late Desi Arnaz’s character Ricky, “Chucky, you got some ‘splainin’ to do…”

All we can hope is that the team can, as Irvin said in a subsequent Tweet – absorb the shock, rally around each other, carry on like the professionals they are, and focus on finding a way to beat the Rams.