Khalil Mack and Jon Gruden Have Patched Up Old Wounds

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Khalil Mack and Jon Gruden Have Patched Up Old Wounds

Chicago Bears

The stalemate between Jon Gruden and Khalil Mack is over.

The Athletic’s Vic Tafur details what was a busy and productive week for the Raiders’ head coach at the Senior Bowl, which included a conversation with the team’s former star pass-rusher who was traded to the Bears before the start of the 2018 season. Tafur’s story leads with an anecdote of Gruden going to dinner with Joel Segal, the agent who represents Mack. What happened at dinner should put an end to rumors that Gruden jettisoning of one of Segal’s premier clients out of Oakland for future considerations was going to create a long-term beef between the two power players.

“Anyway, at some point after the oysters went down and the chicken wings arrived, Segal dialed up a number and passed his phone to Gruden.

It was Mack.

The two chatted for a while, with Gruden congratulating Mack on a great season with the Bears and Mack wishing Gruden luck with this year’s draft and turning things around in Oakland.”

This show of mutual respect and well-wishing should be applauded because it shows that adults with bright profiles can actually be cordial for a change, it’s too little-too late for the Raiders and their fans who wanted to see Mack in silver-and-black for a long time.

Gruden remarked that the conversation was “pretty cool,” which represents the first public comments from the Raiders coach about Mack that were relatively warm. As Tafur points out, Mack and Gruden didn’t talk at all last offseason. Mack was holding out and Gruden was running a new show in Oakland. There wasn’t much to say as Mack was placed on the trading block as Gruden’s new-look Raiders needed to ship away their best player in order to kick-start their rebuild. So I guess it’s at least nice that the two could be cordial with one another over the phone. Progress can be a slow process and wounds take time to heal.

We’re only a few months removed from seeing how frigid their relationship looked from the outside looking in. Remember when Gruden deflected blame and pointed fingers in early September when discussing the trade by saying Mack “obviously” didn’t want to play for the Raiders? That was different. A month later, the only thing obvious was that the deal was clearly haunting Gruden.

Reading this report has me looking forward to the 2019 season, as Gruden and Mack will be in each other’s presence when the Bears and Raiders square off in London. Seeing a sign of peace on international soil would be something, wouldn’t it?

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.