Maybe Jon Gruden knows what he’s doing after all

Jon Gruden is an easy target. He says highly meme-able things. He’s got a goofy haircut. He’s overpaid. He traded away the Raiders’ best player. And, oh yeah, Oakland hasn’t been very good this season.

But if Gruden were anybody other than the caricature he has become – let’s say a numbers-cruncher from the world of baseball or a hotshot from the college ranks – we might be praising the work he’s done in blowing up the Raiders roster to create a strong foundation for the franchise’s future.

After trading Amari Cooper to Dallas for a first-round pick Monday, the Raiders now have five first-rounders over the next two seasons – all of which could fall in the top half of those rounds depending on how the Cowboys and Bears perform – to go along with $74 million in cap space for the 2019 season.

(That doesn’t even include the money Oakland could save by parting ways with the underperforming Derek Carr, which would free up at least $15 million in cap space. When all is said and done, Oakland should be sitting on around $100 million in cap room when the 2019 offseason kicks off.)

That’s not a bad haul for only eight months of work.

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