A lot of talk this year has been regarding contracts, players wanting the big money they think they deserve and teams reluctant to do so. Khalil Mack has been one in the center of this circus.
Mack is easily one of the best players the Raiders have, if not the best, and easily one of the best in his position in the league. 3 consecutive Pro-Bowls prove this, the man is a beast. When rumours began floating around that new coach Gruden hadn’t been in talks with Mack at all since joining earlier in the year people became worried. Mack is entering his final year of his contract and looking for an extension worthy of what he believes he should be getting. Reports suggest that Mack is looking to be one of the first DE to make $20million salary (annual average). The Raiders seem reluctant to make this commitment and so Mack has been staging a holdout refusing to show up for camp. For doing so he faces a whopping $814,000 fine!
He isn’t the only DE holding out for money, and the 2016 DPOY (Defensive Player of the Year) is joined by Aaron Donald, the 2017 DPOY. However word around is that the Rams and Donald are having a more productive discussion and that they are nearing a deal. If a deal is signed off by the Rams it could have a knock on effect to how the Raiders deal with Mack, but at the moment things don’t sound too good. It’s funny that the Rams are involved again. With Bell’s holdout the Rams gave a big money extension to Gurley at RB and now may do similar with Donald amid all the Mack controversy.
Gruden himself has stated he wants Mack back but doesn’t seem keen on the player demanding more money, and citing how poor the defence played last season. Somewhat ironic since Gruden managed to get himself a big money deal with the ESPN by leveraging the coaching offers he was receiving, and then convinced the Raiders to make him the second most paid Head Coach in the league, despite being away from coaching in a decade!
If things all break down with Mack and the Raiders there will be no shortage of teams sniffing around for a trade but most betting outlets and papers are reporting the Packers could be front runners for him. It’s going to be interesting to see how this saga plays out.