Latest On Raiders’ Khalil Mack

There’s no end in sight for Khalil Mack‘s holdout. The defensive end won’t report to camp in advance of the Raiders’ preseason game on Friday night, a source tells Adam Schefter of (on Twitter). By staying away, Mack will be fined $814K, per the terms of the CBA. 

While fellow elite defender Aaron Donald has been in active negotiations with the Rams, the Raiders yet to present Mack with an offer. As important as Mack is to the Raiders’ front seven, the team has not given any indication that a new deal is on the horizon.

The Raiders are taking a hardline stance with Mack, but the motivation for that isn’t exactly clear. Perhaps Jon Gruden, who is taking an old-school approach to the on-field product, has similar views when it comes to the business side. Their reluctance to give Mack an extension has also opened up speculation about the team’s finances and their ability to give the three-time Pro Bowler the heavily-guaranteed deal he deserves.

The Raiders, in theory, can control Mack via the franchise tag in 2019 and again in 2020, but it’s a costly proposition that would put them at odds with the defensive end. The club’s preference is to negotiate after the 2018 season, but that’s not what Mack wants, and he may be willing to miss regular season games to express his dissatisfaction.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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23 comments on “Latest On Raiders’ Khalil Mack

    • bigjonliljon

      I think he’s already got a contract that he signed that pays him quite well

    • crosseyedlemon

      Don’t drink the kool-aid. Gruden wouldn’t have left his cushy broadcasting job if he knew the Raiders would have no money to keep players like Mack in the fold. Davis saved plenty by spending nothing on stadium improvements over the years.

  1. bowserhound

    Give him a raise this season and tell him long-term contract negotiations will take place next summer. Win-Win (baby).

    • JT19

      I’m pretty sure they can’t since he’s still on his rookie deal and any new money added would have to be in the form of a new contract. The issue isn’t money this year, its money in future years specifically guaranteed money. Even then, there’s no reason for Mack to sign a one year raise with the “promise” that the Raiders will negotiate next season since they would likely hit him with the franchise tag anyway. And with the minimal amount of contact him and the Raiders have had thus far and how the Raiders are handling the Donald Penn situation (gave him a contract last year and are now asking him to take a paycut), there’s no reason to believe that the Raiders would negotiate in good faith.

      • darkangel

        agreed. how can one fault a player for wanting to reneg with his team when that same team wants to reneg with his teammate who plays on the other side of the line ? that’s too weird.

  2. Brad

    The comparison to him and Donald is funny seeing that Mack is still getting 13.8 compared to Donald’s 6.9. They are both elite players, but maybe if Mack plays this season he will get more. There has to be give and take. It’s really hard to believe the Gruden stories of them not talking.

    • crosseyedlemon

      There is nothing gained by having Gruden involved. His involvement would in fact be detrimental by undermining the authority of his GM while at the same time alienating his best defensive player. It would be totally hypocritical for Gruden to tell Mack not to push for an extension when he himself is sitting on a ten year deal.

  3. Dark14ry

    He signed a contract! I would not give him anything else. If he sucked it up, would he give money back? Never! This is the contract HE signed. Finish your contract and then move on if you are unhappy.

    Only in the sports world can you sign a contract and then pout cause you want more.

    • sportznut1000

      football is the only sport where i side with the players on holdouts because of the real injury risk. the raiders paid mack a 2.2 million base salary last 3 seasons and so they got a great rookie contract discount on mack. they picked up macks option at 13.8 million for this season. i dont think the money is the issue as much as the years are. he is hoping for something similar to von miller which he rightfully deserves close to that but not as much because von miller is a superbowl mvp.

      • crosseyedlemon

        It’s amusing that fans act like the money is coming out of their own bank account. Anyone with the slightest business sense knows that rewarding performance is the smart play. If your a company executive trying to get yourself fired the quickest way to accomplish that is by pi$$ing off your best employees. They will go where they can find some respect and the company will go bankrupt.

    • JT19

      He can’t just finish his contract and move on though. If he plays well, the Raiders are just going to give him the franchise tag (likely for two consecutive seasons unless he agreed to a new deal). Also its not like he negotiated how much money he really is getting. He’s still on his rookie deal which have relatively set parameters on how much the rookie can earn. The only thing rookies tend to negotiate on in their deals is how much money is guaranteed and offset language. Both of these are moot points since Mack is playing on a fifth year option.

      You want the easy fix to these contract holdouts? Do away with the franchise tag and transition tags. Teams aren’t that interested in negotiating with their star players on rookie contracts anymore because they know they can just fall back onto the franchise tag for two years and then let him go before they give him an actual second contract. Superstar players on rookie contracts are willing to holdout because they know their team will tag them for two years and then let them walk, without setting themselves up for some longer term security.

      • crosseyedlemon

        I agree with you that there will have to be some modification to the current tag system. Players saw how Kirk Cousins was hung out to dry for two seasons and they want to avoid that by pushing for extensions before they are eligible for the tag. Management understandably doesn’t want to surrender the leverage that the tag now allows them.

    • crosseyedlemon

      It only makes sense to deal for someone like Mack or Donald if your a piece away from having a championship team and the Colts are light years away from that.

  4. JT19

    Notice how football is the only major sport that has an issue with players holding out every season. Why? Because the rules on restricted free agency is very heavily team-friendly.

    If a RFA in basketball doesn’t like the deal his team is offering, he can just sign his qualifying offer and be a UFA the following summer. Baseball has an arbitration system that prevents teams from completely low-balling their players and the QO only really restricts the mid-tier players (star players will easily find a new deal despite their QO while the lower end players will take the QO if they know they’re unlikely to get a better long term deal in free agency). Hockey also has an arbitration system to help out during their RFA years. Football, on the other hand, is the only sport that doesn’t offer salary arbitration or the ability for a player hit with a “qualifying offer” to accept it and become a UFA the following season.

    • crosseyedlemon

      It’s pretty meaningless to start comparing the various sports. For starters, none of the non football sports have to deal with 55 man rosters.

  5. darkangel

    Mack don’t sack yourself bro. plan to play Vegas Raiders where there’s NO STATE INCOME TAX, unlike the exorbitant amount you have to pay as levied by the Socialust Republic of Grassyfornia.

  6. autumnwind

    I am 100% on Mack’s side on this issue. If he tears his knee up and isn’t going to be the same player again, hold out and get his payday. He has earned it. Get what you…. while you can.

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