Reggie McKenzie needs to get his checkbook out and write a big, fat check for Khalil Mack. He has outplayed his rookie salary and deserves a raise, it’s time he get it.
There has already been valuable time missed by Mack after he has missed the off-season activities this week and will continue to miss OTA’s until a deal is struck. The Raiders can not afford to risk him missing any of training camp too. The time Mack has missed so far may not be a big deal to him. However, it does matter to his teammates and coaches.
This was the first chance for him to be introduced to his new teammates along the defensive line. There are three rookies who will be playing alongside him this season with P.J. Hall, Arden Key, and Maurice Hurst. It’s important for them all to meet and build some chemistry with Mack.
More importantly it was a missed opportunity for Khalil Mack to show these rookies another example along with Bruce Irvin on what it takes to be a professional. There are only a handful of superstar edge rushers in the league, and Mack is arguably the best out of all of them. That is a massive presence to be missing the first time these rookies get to work out with the team.
Luckily, they did still have Bruce Irvin. We already covered how great of an influence Irvin has been off the field and his big life moment of being the first in his family to graduate college. He’s also stepped up as the leader of the defense in Mack’s absence though.
“No, I haven’t talked to my man (Mack). I miss him though. That situation… I’ll never speak on another man’s situation.” Irvin said at his press conference earlier this week, “That’s him. I wish him nothing but the best but I have to get these guys who are here ready. Arden Key, Maurice Hurst, P.J. [Hall], those guys. Those guys are going to be important for us. Khalil’s situation will take care of itself, but for me, it’s my job to get these guys ready for the Los Angeles Rams.”
While it’s awesome to see Bruce Irvin be such a great presence on this team and to blossom into the leader he is showing himself to be, it’d have been even better to have Khalil Mack there too. As good of a leader as Irvin is, you just can’t replace the type of star power that Mack brings to the defense and therefore the impact he can make with these rookies.
To miss that opportunity waiting to pay the man what he deserves is somewhat frustrating on the outside looking in. The Raiders don’t have a ton of money under the cap but if there is one thing that Reggie McKenzie has been a whiz at it’s manipulating the salary cap to fit his needs. But why he hasn’t gotten it done before now is beyond me.
Mack deserves the money and he is going to get the money inevitably. Even if it’s the biggest contract to a defensive lineman in NFL history, it’s time to write the check and get this issue over with before it becomes a real problem.