As soon as Jon Gruden returned as head coach of the Oakland Raiders he circled April 9th on his calendar.
Just a little three months after he officially put back on the Silver and Black, Gruden would *finally *get a chance to work with his players, but more importantly, he’d get the chance to talk and meet with them as well.
Now, two weeks into the Raiders Offseason Workout Program, the next date circled on Gruden’s calendar is April 24, the first day Derek Carr and the Co., can take the field for the first time, as they participate in a veteran mini-camp.
However, as of now, we’re unsure if Gruden’s best defensive player, defensive end Khalil Mack, will be in attendance when the team takes the field Tuesday.
The All-Pro defensive end has been a visible absence from the team’s offseason work, although, at this point it’s important to note that the sessions that No. 52 have missed thus far are voluntary.
As is the case with next week’s mini-camp.
That said, when asked about the status of Mack during his pre-draft press conference, General Manager Reggie McKenzie offered no update, saying that he had not spoken to the three-time Pro Bowler.
“We’ve just been focusing on the draft and the coaching staff and focusing on these players that are here and getting ready for the mini-camp next week,” said McKenzie.
Headed into the final year of his rookie deal in 2018, Mack is looking to ink a long-term extension, one that at this point hasn’t come to fruition.
McKenzie has been steadfast all offseason, saying on multiple occasions that inking Mack to a new deal is an organizational priority, however, as of now, nothing has been agreed upon.
In that arena, McKenzie is also looking at Mack’s situation as just that, *Mack’s, *and the Raiders GM won’t be taking his cues from players around the league also searching for new deals.
“We look at Khalil as his own situation,” McKenzie said. “We’re not looking at anybody else. We’re just focusing on our guy.”
The first mandatory event during the Offseason Workout Program is Mandatory Mini-Camp June 13.