The Raiders are not expecting star defensive end Khalil Mack for mandatory minicamp this week, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Mack is staying away from the club as he pushes for a lucrative new contract.
The absence of Mack, who has averaged 12 sacks per season over the last three years, is likely to be a thorn in the side of new head coach Jon Gruden. The Raiders were supposedly on good terms with the edge rusher, but he is turning up the heat as he pressures the club for an extension.
The Raiders finalized Derek Carr and Gabe Jackson‘s extensions in June of last year, but Mack’s may be more complicated. Aaron Donald and Jadeveon Clowney are the same boat and each could be waiting to see if one of the other 2014 first-rounders sets the market.
“We look at Khalil as his own situation,” GM Reggie McKenzie said recently. “We’re not looking at anybody else. We’re just focusing on our guy.”
As it stands, Mack is slated to reach unrestricted free agency following the 2018 season. He’s scheduled to earn $13.846MM, per the terms of his fifth-year option. His deal accounts for nearly 8% of the Raiders’ salary cap, and he is likely seeking a deal that will give him a similar piece of the pie over a six-year span, even as the cap continues to increase.
Barring a new deal, five 4-3 defensive ends will carry a higher cap number than Mack this year: Calais Campbell (Jaguars), Ezekiel Ansah (Lions), Demarcus Lawrence (Cowboys), Olivier Vernon (Giants), and Cameron Jordan (Saints). Last year, Mack graded out as the fifth best edge rusher in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.
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