The Raiders’ situation with Khalil Mack continues to feature no movement. There is no end in sight, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets, adding the 2016 defensive player of the year will not report in time for Oakland’s second preseason game. Reggie McKenzie previously said he does not expect the superstar defensive end to show up without an extension, so this isn’t unexpected. Mack will incur a fine of $814K by not being with the Raiders for their second preseason tilt, bringing his fine total up to $1.628MM, per Schefter.
Jon Gruden, meanwhile, insists the Raiders are trying to bring Mack back as soon as possible and called the fifth-year Raider “the best player coming off the edge in football.”
“We’re going to try to get him here as soon as we can,” Gruden said during a Sirius XM Radio interview (via NBC Sports Bay Area). “In the time being, you got to move on. You’ve got to get up and go to work. That’s one thing I’m very proud of what we’ve done here. This is a negotiation. Joel Segal is Khalil’s agent. They’ve got their plan. General manager Reggie McKenzie and the people negotiating on our end have a plan. I’m coaching the team. At this time, he’s not here, and we have to focus on what we can control, and that’s just working.”
Here’s the latest from the West divisions.
- John Elway shot down a Colin Kaepernick route to Denver, indicating the former 49ers quarterback turned down an offer in 2016. (Although, Brock Osweiler also turned down a 2016 offer only to return a year later.) But the Broncos GM did not rule out bringing in another veteran backup, Mike Klis of 9News notes. The Broncos demoted Paxton Lynch this week, and new second-stringer Chad Kelly has never thrown a regular-season pass. Matt Moore may be the top non-Kaepernick QB available.
- The 2016 summit between Kaepernick, Elway, Gary Kubiak and Broncos exec Matt Russell at Elway’s house was a “positive meet and greet,” according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com. The Broncos liked Kaepernick coming out of Nevada in 2011, and after the 2016 meeting, Kaepernick believed he was en route to becoming Denver’s next starter. However, he balked at taking a pay cut (one that would have reduced his salary to $7MM). Citing the double-standard for Osweiler — whom Robinson believes stirred up some hard feelings among Broncos execs by spurning them for the Texans — receiving a second chance in Denver and Kaepernick not being considered, the NFL reporter points to this being another checkmark in the Kaepernick-being-blackballed column.
- In his first 2019 mock draft, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has the Broncos selecting a cornerback in Round 1. Although All-Pro Chris Harris remains well-regarded as a Broncos cornerstone, Miller notes some in Denver’s front office aren’t sold on Bradley Roby as a long-term cog. Roby’s entering his contract year. Harris has two seasons left on his team-friendly deal. The Broncos selected Brendan Langley in the 2017 third round, but 2018 third-rounder Isaac Yiadom was the nickelback in Denver’s first preseason game in place of the injured Tramaine Brock.
- Whatever the Rams end up paying Aaron Donald, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com feels that gives the Raiders a price point. But he expects a Mack extension to come in slightly below what Donald ends up earning. With edge rushers on average earning more than their inside counterparts, it remains to be seen if Mack would accept a deal that doesn’t make him the NFL’s highest-paid defender.