The stalemate between Khalil Mack and the Oakland Raiders could soon end with the NFL Defensive Player of the Year on a new team.
As the two sides have been deadlocked on a contract extension, there are growing rumors that the Oakland Raiders may trade Mack and that the market is heating up as the season approaches. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported on Twitter that several teams are interested, and that the chances of Mack being traded are now “very real.” He suggested that the move could come as early as Saturday, when teams are required to pare down to 53-man rosters by 4 p.m. ET.
Mack had been seeking a contract extension from the Raiders, with the talks reportedly going nowhere and Mack staying away from the team’s training camp through the entire preseason. The rift had grown so deep that Mack has reportedly still not met new head coach Jon Gruden, even though there is just a week remaining until the season starts.
That led to rumors that the Oakland Raiders may be looking to trade Mack, though it appeared they did not want to part with him without a big return. A report from Pro Football Talk claimed that the Raiders have set the price for Mack at two first-round picks, a steep price that few teams would seem willing to pay for a player with only one year remaining on his contract. But other reports have suggested that this could be the starting price for negotiations, and that the Raiders may accept less if it means getting a return and not wasting a season with Mack holding out.
With less than 24 hrs to go before the cut-down day deadline, the trade market for #Raiders star pass-rusher Khalil Mack is robust, I’m told. There are enough teams interested where the chances of Mack being traded is very real. Oakland is gauging and listening. Tune in tomorrow.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 1, 2018
Other rumors indicate that there is division even within the Oakland Raiders franchise about what to do with Khalil Mack. Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated reported that owner Mark Davis does not want the team to part with Mack, but Gruden believes that the team would be able to do more by saving the hefty price tag Mack will likely garner. The market appears to be set high after the Los Angeles Raiders gave a six-year, $135 million contract extension to Aaron Donald.
I’m told Mark Davis is not excited by the idea of trading Mack. Jon Gruden is far more open to it. He believes the type of financial commitment it would take to keep Mack could instead be used on multiple players to shore up a flawed defense...— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) September 1, 2018
If the Oakland Raiders do decide to trade Khalil Mack, it could come soon. Ian Rapoport suggested that any move could be timed with roster cutdown day on Saturday, likely giving a receiving team a week to work Mack into their system before NFL opening day next Sunday.