Raiders Walking “Slippery Slope” With Khalil Mack Negotiations?

How serious is Khalil Mack about getting a new deal?

He hasn’t shown for any of the Raiders voluntary workouts, but the real date to watch is June 12 when mandatory minicamp begins.

The team can begin to fine Mack for missing mandatory minicamp, but in the grand scheme of things, Mack doesn’t stand to lose much by holding out – at least in comparison to the money he stands to gain ($80 million guaranteed?) from a new deal.

“I’m sure everyone wants to know when he’ll show up, if he’ll be here next week for the three-day minicamp,” Vic Tafur said Tuesday on his State of the Nation podcast. “My guess is he won’t be. I think they’re still a little bit of a ways off in terms of getting to a deal. I think everyone wants to get it done, but as Reggie [McKenzie] told us a while back, ‘it’s a lot of money’ so why not take your time and make sure everyone is happy with the finished deal.”

But there are a handful of reasons the Raiders might want to make progress on a deal with Mack sooner than later.

First of all, why not move ahead of the Rams and Aaron Donald? Once Donald signs a deal, the Raiders don’t have a lot of leverage. Negotiations on Mack’s deal would begin at what Donald was paid and Mack wouldn’t be taking a penny less.

John Middlekauff talked about Mack’s deal in a Wednesday column for The Athletic and brought up a number of good points:

“Why would the Raiders try to pinch pennies with him? He is going to be really expensive, but why argue over an extra million or two million dollars?”

Why not just treat these guys like quarterbacks of the defense? Pay them $75-80 million and call it day. Are they hoping to get Mack to sign for less than Carr’s contract? Because that is not going to happen.

I don’t think the offseason activities are make-or-break for any team, why risk it when you’re trying to build something special? Wouldn’t it be worth it for them just to pay him and have him at camp? Isn’t there value in your best player being around when the new coach is setting the tone?

People tell me Carr didn’t sign until the summer, but he wasn’t holding out. He wasn’t MIA with a newly-minted $100 million dollar coach. Why play around with this stuff when you finally land Gruden?

The other question I have — are the Raiders prepared to start training camp without Mack? If they can’t get a deal done this summer, why would he show up at the end of July? That feels like a risk I would avoid at all costs, even if I had to ‘lose the deal’ in the public’s eye. Carr gave the Raiders a discount — Mack will not. Carr will more than likely get another big contract, Mack and his camp have to plan on this being the only big-money deal. That’s just an NFL reality for non-quarterbacks. Most guys only get one monster deal.”

It just feels like the Raiders’ brass is walking a very slippery slope with training camp right around the corner.”

So how is this going to play out?

Assuming Mack doesn’t show up for mandatory minicamp, there will be about six weeks of football silence before training camp kicks off in late July.

If Mack isn’t with the team by that point, it might be time to start worrying. He’s going to play this year, but the Raiders don’t need another training camp headlined by a star player holding out.

Get the deal done, already.

twitter: @raidersbeat


5 thoughts on “Raiders Walking “Slippery Slope” With Khalil Mack Negotiations?

  1. I like Mack, but if he doesn’t show up for mandatory minicamp, I think RM shouldn’t give him a deal at all. He is under contract this year, and we can franchise tag tim twice. After that he’s 30. Or tag him once then trade him. By holding out he is hurting the team which hurts the fans. I don’t want to root for someone like that

    1. It’s Khalil Mack. He’s a future HOFer who hasn’t even reached his prime yet. You think the Broncos thought that way about Von Miller, or the Rams with Aaron Donald? You can’t just go gets another Khalil Mack. That’s why I’m glad the pros handle this stuff instead of us fans.

  2. I’ve been of the opinion that they should take their time and get it done right. But you’re right, at a certain point you have to just get it done.

    I think the real issue here isn’t the typical bargaining over a few million here or there, I think the real issue is that Mack, and Donald, are really the first marquee players to be working on contracts since the Cousins deal really “broke” the system. If I’m Mack, I’m looking for that 100% guaranteed contract.

    You see it all the time with defensive players, they get the monster deal with huge potential earnings, but they are back loaded, then the team makes them renegotiate their contract or they move on from them. Not that a player of Mack’s caliber would likely end up in that position, but I’m sure it’s in the back of his mind.

  3. isn’t he already technically under contract?

    mack IS the bad guy in this situation. he is breaking the contract

    you gotta do what you gotta do

    but from a legal perspective…mack is in the wrong and should be at camp no questions asked.

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