Rod Woodson didn't mince words when addressing his former team on the FS1 show "Undisputed" this week.
"I don't want to sound like a scorned lover because I was fired by the Raiders," the 53-year-old Woodson said. "I love (owner) Mark Davis, I love the Davis family. But you can't tell me you got rid of Michael Crabtree, you put Jordy Nelson in there, and Jordy Nelson is better than Michael Crabtree. That's a lie.
Woodson didn't stop there, focusing his attention on the Raiders giving Gruden an eight-figure annual salary to exit the broadcast booth at ESPN to accept the head-coaching position.
"I understand Gruden, wonderful on his TV gig, did some wonderful things as a coach, but he only won (54) percent of his games," Woodson said. "Ten years, $100 million. I hope Mark Davis has an out. My question would be, how many Super Bowls do you have to win for $100 million. You give that deal to Bill Belichick. But to a Jon Gruden? It's hard for me to understand."
Woodson joined the Raiders in 2002, the year after Gruden was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Woodson recorded eight interceptions and helped Oakland advance to the Super Bowl to face Gruden's Buccaneers, who posted a 48-21 victory.
Gruden had been out of the NFL since coaching his seventh and final season with the Buccaneers in 2008.
He left the broadcast booth at ESPN to return to the franchise where he spent his first four seasons as a head coach, posting a 38-26 regular-season record (40-28 overall) from 1998-2001 and guiding the team to a pair of playoff berths, including appearances in the AFC Championship Game in his last two seasons.
Overall, he is 95-81 in 11 regular seasons and 100-85 including the postseason.
Gruden succeeded Del Rio, who was fired following a season-ending loss to the Los Angeles Chargers that capped a disappointing 6-10 campaign for the Raiders.
Raiders owner Mark Davis said in January the hiring of Gruden culminated a six-year goal that started when his father, the late Al Davis, passed away in 2011. Al Davis hired a 34-year-old Gruden to be the team's head coach in 1998.
Nelson, who turns 33 in May, will replace the 30-year-old Crabtree, who was scheduled to make more than $7.7 million in base salary and bonuses in 2018. He ultimately signed with the Baltimore Ravens.
Gruden initially noted that the presence of Crabtree was one of the reasons that he was interested in taking the Oakland job. But the availability of Nelson apparently changed his mind.
After missing the 2015 season with a knee injury, Nelson had a big 2016 season for the Green Bay Packers with 97 receptions, 1,257 yards and a league-leading 14 touchdown catches.
His numbers declined significantly in 2017, when he had 53 catches for 482 yards and six touchdowns in 15 games.
Crabtree's numbers also went down in 2017. After having 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns in 2016, he slipped to 58 catches, 618 yards and eight scores last season.
Martin was released by the Buccaneers on Feb. 20, ending his six-year tenure with the club.
A first-round pick of Tampa Bay in 2012, Martin rushed for a career-low 406 rushing yards last season and has been limited to 827 yards over the last two campaigns after erupting for 1,402 in 2015.
Martin burst on the scene as a rookie, rushing for 1,454 yards and amassing 12 total touchdowns. He added 49 receptions for 472 receiving yards, with all four totals serving as career highs.
After a pair of down seasons, Martin bounced back with a strong 2015 campaign, piling up 1,402 yards and seven total touchdowns. The Buccaneers responded by handing him a five-year, $37.75 million extension with $15 million in guaranteed money.