The market for elite defensive players has been set. The Los Angeles Rams and Aaron Donald agreed to a six-year $135 million contract extension on Friday. And at some point, whether that be the next few days, a few weeks or a year (maybe two who knows), Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack will reset that market as well.
Up until this point, I have not been bothered by the Mack news. Sure, rumors will come out that will make the Raiders look bad and they certainly have been reported but that is the job of Mack’s camp. To find and use any leverage possible to get Mack the best deal and that involves releasing information to put pressure on the organization.
And one of the steps to getting Mack the best deal is to wait for Donald to sign his new contract because whoever signs second will get the larger deal.
So my thought process has been, it could be likely Mack is just waiting for Donald to sign. Once that happens (and it has), then we will know how the negotiations are actually going. If Mack signs within a few days, then it was just all a negotiation tactic. If not, then Oakland is in some serious trouble regarding Mack.
Even if Mack comes back to play on his current deal, one would have to imagine that the relationship between him and the organization is not ideal. As such, the Raiders could have Mack on the field this season, but then when they come to the negotiation table next season (if they do at all) it would be hard to imagine that they will be able to strike a long-term deal.
For those who are in support of giving Mack whatever he wants, like myself, here is a prudent point to do so. The contract that Mack would receive right now might look massive at first but only at first.
For example, Derek Carr signed last offseason as the highest-paid player in the NFL at the time by earning $25 million per year. But just one offseason later, Aaron Rodgers has made Carr’s numbers look like child’s play. Rodgers is making $33.5 million per season from the extension. So within just one year, Carr’s deal is dwarfed. And while it won’t happen as quickly on the defensive side of the ball, it will still happen.
But Mack isn’t signed at the moment. So the question still remains, with Donald signed when should Raider Nation hit the panic button on Mack and be worried that the Raiders’ future doesn’t involve the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year?
When should Raider Nation hit the panic button on Khalil Mack?
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