Late Friday night suddenly the Khalil Mack discussion went from Mach one to ludicrous speed. Perhaps it was the Aaron Donald deal being done that shifted everyone’s focus to Khalil Mack and the Raidesrs. Who knows, but the whole discussion got kicked up a few notches in the past couple hours.
It’s possible that when Ian Rapoport said this, that everyone else began chiming in:
With less than 24 hrs to go before the cut-down day deadline, the trade market for #Raiders star pass-rusher Khalil Mack is robust, I’m told. There are enough teams interested where the chances of Mack being traded is very real. Oakland is gauging and listening. Tune in tomorrow.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 1, 2018
So now the trade market for Mack is “robust” and the chances of him being traded is “very real.”
Let’s keep it going. With Jason La Canfora and his shock if Khalil Mack does NOT get traded.
NFL teams have legit begun jockeying for position to try to land Khalil Mack via trade. At this point I will be far more surprised if he is not moved than if he is dealt— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 1, 2018
We’ll see how well that tweet ages.
He later put actual teams out there, adding the 49ers to the list:
Add the 49ers to the group of team's fully exploring the possibility of a Khalil Mack trade, along with NYJ, BUF, IND, GB, CLE, CHI— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 1, 2018
From that point, it wasn’t long before Mike Silver threw down the gauntlet, cracking off a few bombshells for the already raging inferno.
I’m told Mark Davis is not excited by the idea of trading Mack. Jon Gruden is far more open to it. He believes the type of financial commitment it would take to keep Mack could instead be used on multiple players to shore up a flawed defense...— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) September 1, 2018
That said, the Raiders are involved in active trade talks with multiple teams. The asking price is very high. We could see a trade in the next 24 hours, but I’m told that’s far from a certainty.— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) September 1, 2018
One thing that doesn’t help: Gruden and Mack have no relationship. Neither side feels the other has made an effort to forge one. Unreturned calls and frayed feelings.— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) September 1, 2018
Some of you young folks are picturing the Gruden who spewed pleasantries into your TV set for a decade. This is the real Coach G, and he's not playing, and he's got a 10-year deal. He's gonna do what he does.— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) September 1, 2018
Even Tim Kawakami chimed in.
What I'll say is that if the Raiders were going to trade Mack, they should've done it before the draft. I believe they understood that at the time.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) September 1, 2018
I have said my piece on this. I believe this would be a catastrophic failure on Gruden’s part. To trade away the best player this franchise has seen in decades before you have even coached your first game back would be monumentally stupid.
You also don’t preach homegrown talent and then when that talent exceeds all your hopes and becomes the best defender in the league, trade him away because you don’t want to pay him like it.
Jon Gruden was once traded for a couple first round picks. I can’t remember what happened to that team which received those picks and who got the better of that trade. Someone will have to refresh my memory.