Report: Gruden Views Khalil Mack’s Contract As A “Power Struggle” He Doesn’t Want To Lose

One of the real mysteries to Khalil Mack’s holdout over the past few months has been the bizarre lack of communication between the team and Mack’s agent.

General manager Reggie McKenzie talked about extending Mack’s deal a year ago and was believed to have made it top priority going into this year. But somewhere along the way, communication seems to have broken down and according to a report from Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, the responsible party is believed by many to be Jon Gruden.

“You’re seeing the result of this now,” Freeman wrote in his weekly 10-Point Stance on Bleacher Report. “Many around the league believe if McKenzie was running the show, Mack would be in camp now. While Gruden also wants Mack back, I’m told the coach sees this as a power struggle between him and perhaps the most powerful player on the team. And he doesn’t want to lose.”

A number of reports have indicated that Gruden tried to reach Mack by phone (and talked to him not long after being hired), but apparently hasn’t been able to reach Mack since at least February. Whether or not that was a wise negotiating tactic by Mack’s agent is still to be seen, but we do know this – Gruden is stubborn and he doesn’t like to lose battles on or off the field. Mack’s agent has dealt with a lot of general managers, but he’s never dealt with Gruden in this capacity.

And that’s why Gruden is the wild card in all this.

Don’t put it past Gruden to pull off any kind of power play he wants with Mack. So far Gruden’s tactics have translated to almost no communication with Mack’s agent and if the wager is on which side is going to blink first, betting against Gruden might be a bad idea.

twitter: @raidersbeat


6 thoughts on “Report: Gruden Views Khalil Mack’s Contract As A “Power Struggle” He Doesn’t Want To Lose

  1. RaidersBeat,

    Didn’t Gruden and Joel Segal have a nasty run-in while Segal was representing Keenan McCardell? Seems like these two should have learned from past history. I think at some point, fingers should be directed at the agent also. If Mack shows up for game one in fear of losing game checks, this holdout was all for not and should fall back on the agent’s head. As you mentioned in the other piece, why would a new coaching staff fork over 70 mil guaranteed to a player they haven’t met in person yet?

  2. Trade Mack! The Patriots have already showed us that over paying on defense is not worth it. If we could get a couple of high draft picks and a defensive player or maybe even a quality back up QB, I’d definitely pull the trigger. Hopefully he likes his new city, there are worst situations than the raiders.

  3. The Raiders have a long standing rule of not negotiating with ANYBODY that is under contract but not ‘in house’. They can’t break this rule just because of who it is. I really believe that if Mack showed up today, they’d have a contract in hand by Friday. Mack’s agent also has a rule of not allowing his clients to step foot on the property when he thinks that they have an upper hand. Make no mistake, Mack is still under contract and the Raiders ‘could’ have him for 3 more years (if he sits out this year – next year he’d be still under contract – the year after that, they could franchise tag him) – sans the Lions with Berry Sanders. The reason why this will not happen is because they don’t want to piss off Mack but more importantly, it would be cheaper in the long run to have a guaranteed, long term cap friendly contract. This WILL happen. I also think that both the Raiders and Mack’s agent are enjoying being in the news EVERY two seconds where ‘reporters’ are ‘reporting’ that there is nothing to ‘report’…. Gotta love America!

  4. If the reports are true Gruden needs to put his ego aside for the team. Mac is a top 5 defensive player in this league. Pay him,and if he’s unwilling to do that. MD needs to step in and find a way to get the deal done and massage CHUCKY’S ego at the same time. Heavy is the head that wears the crown.

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