Sunday night Khalil Mack will suit up for the Chicago Bears’ season opener against the Packers. That was a difficult sentence to write, and perhaps an even tougher line for Raiders fans to fully wrap their heads around. But no measure of pain from Mack’s departure can measure up to what Raiders quarterback Derek Carr must be feeling from watching his best friend leave.
Carr awoke Saturday morning and was blindsided by the news that the Raiders and Bears had reached an agreement to trade Mack. His immediate reaction was summarized in two simple words he tweeted, “no way.”
The fourth-year quarterback told the media Monday that nobody in the organization saw the Mack trade coming “from top down.”
“That’s my brother,” Carr continued. “The hardest part for me is, obviously, you lose a good football player, but he’s my brother man. That’s one of my best friends. I think that’s the hardest part, is that I don’t get to see my friend every day.”
As the Raiders first and second round picks from the 2014 NFL Draft, Carr and Mack shared a close bond throughout their time in Oakland. Both players became the unquestioned leaders of the Silver & Black, combining for six Pro Bowl appearances during the past four years.
So when Carr was signed to a five-year, $125 million extension that at the time was the richest in NFL history, Mack rightfully thought he would receive his deal the following year. Instead, Mack found out Saturday he would be traded to Chicago, a move that left him shocked.
Just hours later, the Bears made Mack the highest-paid defender in NFL history inking their new defensive end to a monster six-year, $141 million extension with $90 million guaranteed.
While Carr is happy for his friend, he would have preferred the extension could have been with the Raiders instead.
“When we first came in, we planned the next 10-15 years of our life,” Carr said. “I think that’s the weirdest part, because it’s a little bit of a different chapter now.”