Tafur: Raiders Panicked On Khalil Mack’s Threat To Miss Regular Season Games

One of the great questions that we might never know the answer to is what Khalil Mack would have done if the Raiders hadn’t caved and traded him a week before the season.

Would he have been willing to sacrifice nearly a million dollars each week to sit out real games?

The Raiders believed Mack would show up and told league insider Peter King as much a couple weeks ago. But at some point since then, Mack’s camp apparently convinced the Raiders that he wouldn’t.

The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, who said he talked to Mack throughout the holdout, believes the Raiders essentially fell victim to an elaborate bluff from Mack and his agent.

“The whole thing is just weird,” Tafur said on his State of the Nation podcast this week. “I think they panicked, I really do. They weren’t positive Khalil Mack was going to show up this week. I think he was. I talk to him all the time, he never told me anything point blank or anything juicy, but I never got the impression he was considering giving up his paycheck.”

“I don’t think you ever trade a Hall of Fame player in his prime… Good teams don’t trade Khalil Macks and if you do, if you’ve realized that’s what you have to do, you do if before the draft… now you have a year where you get nothing.”

Whatever happened, there’s a case to be made that Jon Gruden was just ready to be done with Mack. For weeks there had been rumors that Mack might be available and whoever it was that teams were talking to in the Raiders building, some were coming away with the belief that Mack was attainable.

The Raiders as an organization may have panicked some, but they had nine months to prepare for this. They shouldn’t have been blindsided by any element of Mack’s holdout or Aaron Donald’s new deal.

Just a guess, but Gruden probably didn’t panic about anything. My gut says he was done dancing around with Mack’s agent and ready to move on… so he did.

twitter: @raidersbeat


9 thoughts on “Tafur: Raiders Panicked On Khalil Mack’s Threat To Miss Regular Season Games

  1. Since we weren’t getting any immediate compensation for him, it made no sense to trade him right now. They probably could have received a bigger trade pkg the night before the 2019 draft when some team “win now” team would give up the farm to get him……or maybe Mack caved some time in mid-season and he stays with the team. So, yes, I do believe the Raiders panicked and made a foolish decision.

    1. Raiders didn’t not panic. C hucky knew we had some D ready And hungry to step it up….well will just have to see what happens…. RNFLIFERS

  2. Good presumption. I wouldn’t have traded him until maybe after he didn’t show up for the 1st real game and lost his 1st game money. Then we would have all known he ain’t bullsh*ttin. Then this sh*t would’ve gotten real and then I’d move towards shopping him around thereafter. Or, just like Mike says above, let him waste all the season money by not showing up for any games and shoot for a bigger pkg on the 2019 draft approach. Anddd, most importantly he wouldn’t be suiting up for any other team, in this case the Bears. Geez are these guys rookie GM’s or what. Not even cool. Not even good for the org. SMFH.

  3. Agent is the same for Mack and Cooper, something tells me Gruden wanted good PR with said agent for Cooper’s upcoming deal..a lot of praise for the agent and Mack’s new contract in Gruden’s PC

  4. Yes they did panic. As we got no compensation for him this year that means we thought the former defensive player of the year wasn’t even worth a roster spot, or that he would have a down year, causing his value to decrease prior to the 2019 draft. Personally I think they should have made him play out his final year, then tagged him if a deal was not happening. Only then consider a trade when you don’t have to wait a year to get something for him. They got poor value for him despite what the narrative is. Mack was worth more than we got, which was less than 2 1st rounders because of the 2nd rounder we also gave them. Luckily it’s a 2020 pick so maybe we’ll be better by then and a late 2nd for and early 3rd won’t look so stupid. But alas, it happened. We can only go forward and hope that the Raiders powers that be can hit on those draft picks and propel the team to greatness. Such hopes are contrary to Reggie’s recent history in early rounds, Gruden’s history with power over the roster with the price for corns, and their combined history with trading back for poor compensation and wasting picks on Bryant and Switzer.

    I really hope these draft picks work out, but the trend of poor trade compensation is very troubling. What was the last trade where the raiders won or broke even on?

    1. Who have the raiders had as a game changer and coach since chuck left. No one
      I don’t think chucky is the answer either
      This will come back to knaw at them just
      like Marcus Allen
      And no one will remember Kolton Miller after this season

  5. Timing of the trade is a bit off from my perspective, but it looks like management already figured they would be trading Mack so… it is what it is at this point.

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