Raiders And Agent Joel Segal Both Responsible For Keeping Khalil Mack Away From The Raiders

With Khalil Mack’s holdout now in it’s fifth week – and much longer if you consider the offseason activities missed – there has been no shortage of time to think about where the negotiations really went off the tracks.

Mack’s position hasn’t changed and he seems set on not returning to the team until his contract has been addressed. But the holdout wasn’t necessarily where the relationship when sour. Holdouts happen all the time, but rarely ever do they accomplish so little in such a great amount of time.

Mack, as you probably know, is using one of the league’s prominent agents in Joel Segal. This isn’t Segal’s first holdout, but it is his first holdout with Jon Gruden and the veteran agent may have made a big mistake long before instructing Mack to skip offseason activities. It’s been well-documented that Mack and Gruden spoke shortly after Gruden was hired. Since that conversation Mack has reportedly not returned calls from Gruden and there has apparently been no dialogue between the two whatsoever.

That might have been a mistake.

Does it make sense for an agent to remove his client from conversations with a head coach (and acting general manager) during a holdout? Sure, but Gruden is the Raiders $100 million head coach and he calls all the shots in Oakland – including who gets paid and who doesn’t. Cutting off Gruden was cutting off the man signing the checks.

Would it have been a risky maneuver to let Mack sit down with Gruden and discuss football? Yes, and most agents would have given similar advice. But the greater risk might have been to play absolute hardball with Gruden in his first few months on the job.

It’s been about seven months since Gruden and Mack reportedly had their last conversation and coincidentally, that was about the last time the Raiders submitted an offer to Mack’s camp – and by all accounts there has been very little progress (if any) toward a new deal since.

Former NFL head coach Eric Mangini probably broke it down best:

“This has been mishandled really by both sides since the beginning,” Mangini said this week on FS1. “I think if they were able to, at some point get together, sit down, talk, just Jon and Khalil, that would be fine, and I really feel that Odell [Beckham Jr.] took the right approach. Odell showed up, he showed the new head coach, he showed the new GM, he showed the owner that he was committed to the program, that he was healthy, that he was going to work. He allowed them to see all the value that he brought to the team where in this other situation it’s been butting heads since the beginning. You’ve got a head coach who signed a 10-year deal for $100 million, who has got all the power, and he’s looking at this longer term as to what type of precedent am I going to set. When you come in and you make things confrontational from the beginning, then you just get two guys in a standoff.”

“According to the reports I’ve read, Jon reached out, his calls were never returned, I don’t know if he reached out a second time. To me, both parties are responsible for that. Either one could have just said, ‘hey, why don’t we get together and spend some time together and see where that goes.”

The full video can be seen below, but Cris Carter also makes a good point (albeit one of his first) that the Raiders need to be fine with setting a different precedent with Mack because he’s a once-in-a-generation type of player. It will be a long time before the Raiders and Gruden have to navigate another contract negotiation with arguably the best defensive player in the league during his prime.

Do both sides deserve responsibility for where things are at?


But the moment things really seemed to go sideways was when Mack’s agent told Khalil to stop picking up the phone for his head coach. Ever since then, the Raiders seem to have stopping picking it up, too. Now the situation has deteriorated to a standoff between two of the biggest egos in professional football – and they’re both to blame for getting us here in the first place.

twitter: @raidersbeat


2 thoughts on “Raiders And Agent Joel Segal Both Responsible For Keeping Khalil Mack Away From The Raiders

  1. Agreed.

    On Good Morning Football, today, they were praising OBJ and the Giants for getting their deal done and then saying that there’s no end in sight for the Raiders and Khalil Mack and the Raiders should pay him…

    OBJ showed up that’s why they were able to negotiate. Until Mack shows up they won’t be negotiating.

    Mack is STILL UNDER CONTRACT. I love the dude, but honor your contract. He signed it and now he wants a new deal but hasn’t even honored the original one that he signed.

    Mack blinked. His tweet that said ‘I miss it’ tells me that Mack will soon be on the phone with his agent telling him “we need to get this done soon. I want to play!”

  2. Teams always have leverage the raiders were there before he was born and will be there when he retires like obj he should report I think the agents put to much into there heads no team is going to trade a hefty price and pay more than what Donald just got.from the Rams he no either has to show or lose game checks now the raiders can tag him till he is 30

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