Yes, it's true. Oakland may consider trading their best player.
Khalil Mack is a dominant force. At 6-3, 252 pounds, Mack can play both outside linebacker and defensive end. He was named first team All-Pro at both positions in 2015 (a historic moment), and was the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year the following season. He has three straight seasons of double-digit sacks and has started every single game in his four-year career.
Despite all of that, Mack may be sent on his way by the Raiders.
Why? Because Mack is in the midst of a fierce holdout with the team.
The pass rusher is set to make $13.5 million this season under a fifth-year option on his rookie contract. After that, the team would be able to franchise tag him for two more seasons for high-end prices.
But, apparently Mack wants even more than that. He wants a long-term extension that will make him one of the highest-paid defenders in the league.
And the Raiders simply aren't willing to give him that kind of money.
Heading to Napa tomorrow for the #Raiders and I inquired about the situation surrounding star Khalil Mack: I’m told there is no progress. No optimism. No communication. And so, the holdout continues...— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 29, 2018
As ESPN's Raiders' reporter Paul Gutierrez reports, that means that Oakland may as well consider trading the star. If a team came along and offered a high draft pick to take the disgruntled Mack off the Raiders' hands, why not jump at the opportunity?
Mack has refused to even talk with new Raiders coach Jon Gruden, and Gruden took a semi-shot at the linebacker when he said that the Raiders defense wasn't even that good in 2017 despite the fact that they had Mack.
Leaving Napa, I’m told there is no present offer from the #Raiders to star pass-rusher Khalil Mack and there has been no contract talks with Mack’s camp since February.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 31, 2018
Gutierrez says that Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie asked him at the NFL owners meetings back in March if he might just have an extra $100 million laying around to help pay Mack. A joke, to be sure, but jokes can be indicative of a deeper reality.
Oakland knows Mack wants crazy money, and they simply don't value him that highly.
The Mack situation is the exact same as Aaron Donald's in Los Angeles. And it may very well end the same way: with the team dumping their star because he overvalued himself.