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Jon Gruden: Khalil Mack didn't want to play for Raiders

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Watching Khalil Mack being a dominant, disruptive and destructive force for the Chicago Bears on Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers must have been difficult for Oakland Raiders fans to watch.

But don't expect any seller's remorse from Jon Gruden. In a video released Monday by ESPN, the Raiders coach explains why it was necessary for the team to trade away the two-time All-Pro linebacker.

"Obviously, Khalil Mack didn't want to play here. That's what's being missed here," Gruden told ESPN's Lisa Salters. "He was under contract, Lisa. He was under contract. He never showed up for an OTA. He never showed up for training camp, and it was obvious he wasn't going to show up for the season.

"So don't forget that. We have to get ready to play, and I want players that want to be here -- that want to help us put this thing back in high gear."

It's unclear when Gruden said this to Salters -- there's a very good chance the interview took place before Mack's incredible performance against the Packers that included a sack, a pick-six, a fumble recovery and three tackles.

Still, it's hard to believe Mack's incredible Chicago debut would change Gruden's feelings on the matter. The coach earnestly believes Mack was on an unstoppable trajectory out of Oakland and there was nothing the team could do to get him to change his mind -- short of the 141 million reasons the Bears gave him.

It'd be shocking for Gruden and the Raiders' brass to ever admit they might have made a mistake by trading away Mack. Time will ultimately determine whether the rich draft-day bounty the Raiders received for the Hall of Fame-caliber player was ultimately worth it.

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