Report: Jon Gruden And Khalil Mack Haven’t Talked Since Gruden Arrived

Over the past few days, a number of reports have noted that contract negotiations have not gone particularly well between the Raiders and All Pro defensive end Khalil Mack.

The Athletic’s Vic Tafur has characterized some of those reports as people trying to make news when there is no news (errr… fake news), but reports from national insiders like Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter continue to suggest otherwise.

Rapoport called the negotiations “tense” and Schefter dropped another nugget this morning that Mack and head coach Jon Gruden haven’t spoken at all since Gruden arrived.

For what it’s worth, nothing about Mack’s holdout prohibits him from talking to team officials or coaches. Maybe the business side of Mack’s holdout isn’t in Gruden’s wheelhouse, but Gruden is known for his relational skills and it’s at least a little surprising the two haven’t discussed some aspect football after seven months on the job together.

Deadlines, they say, spur action. But it’s safe to wonder at this point if the Raiders view any particular date as a deadline to reach a new deal with Mack.

Former NFL executive Andrew Brandt pointed out earlier this month that many teams have shifted to become more interested in pay-as-you-go deals with their franchise players.

For what it’s worth, if the Raiders chose to utilize the franchise tag with Mack for two years beyond this season (he’s still on his rookie deal in 2018), the team would control Mack’s rights until he’s 30 – an option that surely wouldn’t unfold as well-received by the defensive face of the franchise.

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