The 2014 NFL draft was amazing, but right now it is very costly to teams. There are several great players from that draft that reached the final year of their contracts after teams picked up their 5th year option. Instead of playing on ludicrously undervalued deals, the best players held out from their respective teams including the Rams DT Aaron Donald, and Titans OL Taylor Lewan.
Oh yeah, and Khalil Mack of the Raiders.
While Lewan just signed a historic contract for offensive linemen with his 5 year, $80M extension, Aaron Donald and Mack have been left twisting in the wind playing a high stakes game of chicken with their contracts. Neither player has reported to camp yet, and there is an eerie silence about their contract negotiations.
They are the two best defensive players in the NFL, total radio silence for months is pretty bizarre. After Ian Rapoport’s latest tweet about the status of Khalil Mack, most of Raider Nation will have preferred the radio silence.
Leaving Napa, I’m told there is no present offer from the #Raiders to star pass-rusher Khalil Mack and there has been no contract talks with Mack’s camp since February.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 31, 2018
Excuse me? Sir? It must be some sort of typo there Mr. Rapoport. There is no way the Raiders don’t have a present offer to Mack, right? They wouldn’t go 5 months without negotiating with arguably the best defensive player in the NFL, would they?
If true, this news is downright horrifying in regards to Khalil Mack’s current status as a training camp holdout. It’s worse than that though, if true it could harm the Raiders chances of ever being able to sign a long term deal with him. This is just the 5th year, there could still be 2 years of franchise tags on top of this if their relationship is so contentious that they are not even negotiating right now.
Here we thought Ian Rapoport’s first tweet when arriving to Napa was bad news.
Heading to Napa tomorrow for the #Raiders and I inquired about the situation surrounding star Khalil Mack: I’m told there is no progress. No optimism. No communication. And so, the holdout continues...— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 29, 2018
No optimism and no communication is some how an understatement if the two sides haven’t had contract talks since February. This holdout could easily last into the regular season if Rapoport’s latest report is true. It would be downright disrespectful to call off negotiations from the Raiders all together for months.
Mack has earned his deal, his $13.85M base salary for 2018 is not even close to the likely $20M+ per season that he would be making if not for the rookie wage scale. If he feels disrespected along with undervalued then Raider Nation may want to buckle up because his contract negotiations could be a really long ride.