Yesterday’s trade that sent Khalil Mack from the Raiders to the Bears rocked the NFL world, and we can expect more details to trickle out in the coming days. For instance, Oakland GM Reggie McKenzie conceded yesterday that he never had any desire to trade Mack until the end. Per Josh Dubow of the Associated Press, McKenzie said, “My whole thought process was how to get Khalil in here. Absolutely, it was here at the end, it was in the final hour that it kind of just hit and it hit hard and heavy. It was not the plan to trade him at all.”
McKenzie also said he was not afraid to pay top dollar for Mack, but he just could not justify Mack’s asking price. He said, “We presented him with an offer. We got the counter back and talked about it with (agent Joel Segal). What they were demanding, it just wasn’t going to work” (Twitter link via Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal). McKenzie, though, did not elaborate on how Mack’s counteroffer to the Raiders compared with the contract he ultimately landed with the Bears. Gehlken also tweets that more than half the league inquired on Mack, and Oakland ultimately narrowed the list of suitors to teams that it believed could be picking high in the first round in 2019.
Now let’s round up several more rumors from the AFC West:
- Embattled QB Paxton Lynch is still on the Broncos‘ roster for now, but he may not be around for long. As James Palmer of the NFL Network tweets, Denver GM John Elway said he spoke with several free agent quarterbacks, but the QBs he was interested in did not have any interest in joining the Broncos. Elway did not name names, but it is clear that Denver could still move on from Lynch if the club can make an upgrade through free agency or the waiver wire.
- The Broncos waived impressive rookie OLB Jeff Holland yesterday and likely hope that he will go unclaimed so they can put him on the practice squad. Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic, however, tweets that she does not expected Holland to make it through waivers, as teams were expressing interest in him even before he was cut.
- We heard several weeks ago that Chargers TE Hunter Henry could return this season, and as Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk points out, what the Bolts did during final cuts yesterday is in keeping with that report. Los Angeles elected to put Henry on the PUP list rather than injured reserve, which further supports the notion that, if the Chargers are in the playoff hunt late in the season, Henry could return to help get them over the hump.
- The Raiders released WR Martavis Bryant yesterday, as Bryant is facing yet another drug-related suspension.
- The Chiefs released CB David Amerson yesterday.