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Khalil Mack Odds: Are the Raiders Dealing their Defensive Beast?

Khalil Mack
Khalil Mack has been one of the premier defensive players in football since entering the league in 2014. Photo by Jeffrey Beall (Flickr) [CC License]
  • Is Khalil Mack’s future with the Raiders really in doubt?
  • The Raiders’ sack artist ranks among the NFL’s best
  • The Bills and Packers are both rumored to be in the mix if Mack gets moved

The training camp holdout is quickly becoming the only way NFL players can show their discontent with their financial situation without losing much, if any, money.

That’s where a pair of class of ’14 defensive monsters are right now, as the Raiders’ Khalil Mack and the Rams’ Aaron Donald sit out.

It seems far-fetched that the latter’s tenure in Los Angeles is in jeopardy, as Donald is the reigning defensive player of the year. But it has recently sounded conceivable that Mack – Oakland’s defensive gem and a two-time All-Pro – could be on the move.

Early reports out of Raiders camp weren’t what you would call promising between the star player and new head coach Jon Gruden, whose salary has given him his own star power.

And then, call it a slip, or a Phil Jackson-style motivating tactic, but Gruden got in some more words.

Let’s let Vegas have its say:

Will Khalil Mack Get Traded By End of 2018-19? (Odds Courtesy  MyBookie)

Yes No
+300
-500

Mack happens to be in an era that has offered some of the most insane defensive players ever. While the consensus remains that Donald and JJ Watt are the cream of the crop, you can also make a case for Mack, and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong.

How Mack Stacks Up: Stats from 2014-Present

Player Sacks Tackles Tackles for Loss Forced Fumbles Fumble Recoveries
Aaron Donald 39.0 148 69 9 2
Justin Houston 43.0 150 49 6 2
Chandler Jones 46.5 157 55 12 3
Khalil Mack 40.5 231 70 9 4
Von Miller 48.5 191 59 10 5
JJ Watt 39.5 128 58 7 7

Since entering the league in 2014, he is on the level with the giants of the game on defense, leading that ridiculous group in total tackles and tackles for loss. More than anything else, the guy gets after the quarterback better than anyone in the NFL.

The big issue here is money. Entering his fifth year, he is due to make $13.8 million. While a nice chunk of change, we all know that careers in the NFL are fleeting, and locking it down long term is what you need to do.

He’s eyeballing Von Miller’s mammoth deal in particular. Coming off a Super Bowl MVP-winning season, Miller inked a six-year, $114.1 million deal with $70 million guaranteed. That’s an annual average salary of $19 million.

He’s eyeballing Von Miller’s mammoth deal in particular. Coming off a Super Bowl MVP-winning season, Miller inked a six-year, $114.1 million deal with $70 million guaranteed.

Do the Raiders want to invest that? While I believe they would love to have him, I don’t know if they want to commit to anything in that stratosphere. While sack artists are unique and a major value to a team, they can be had.

Chandler Jones was dealt by the Patriots before his chance at re-upping. Calais Campbell wasn’t re-signed by Arizona before a career year in Jacksonville.

I’m guessing teams are kicking tires and offering the usual bounty for a player under contract that wants to re-up: something in the third to fourth round range. But, if a team does want to move that to a first round pick and say, a fifth? Things could get interesting.

If you believe Twitter, you know there are suitors.

If you were betting today, I’d say take no and the -500. But the two sides are reaching the point of no return and fast – and +300 looks awfully tempting if nothing is done come the middle of next week.

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Vancouver born and bred, Eric is a print and broadcast journalism graduate now based in TO. His current project involves getting his wife to join him on the couch this fall to watch football on Sundays from 1pm kickoff till the Sunday night game expires.