Everyone knows about the holdout saga between superstar defensive end Khalil Mack and the Raiders. It’s no secret that Mack wanted to get paid and how new head coach John Gruden felt about it. There was dead silence between Mack and the organization all offseason.
With the start of the new year upon us, there was no attempt by either to work this out. Gruden ruffled some feathers early this year when he said the defense wasn’t very good, even with Mack.
There is no doubt that this created some tension between the two. My opinion is that both sides wanted to see what the holdout Aaron Donald would force the Rams to pay Donald before they worked out a deal. Donald got paid a whopping deal (six years/$135 million thru 2024). With that deal done and the numbers to see, I think both the Raiders and Mack knew exactly where the market was at. Mack was looking to hit the motherload, but the Raiders hit the brakes on the Brinks truck. There were rumblings of a possible trade before the Donald deal, but that was just a gauging of interest, in case this happened.
The worst has happened, in no deal getting done. The Raiders decided that it would benefit them more to trade Mack than to pay him, what he’s worth. Gruden and the Raiders, who had been listening to offers, said a couple of days ago that it would take at least two 1st’s from any team interested in Mack.
While that seems like a lot to give up, Mack is a franchise changing player, and those types don’t come cheap. With such a hefty price tag, teams such as the Bills, Browns, Colts, Jets, Packers, and 49ers, began to line up and make offers. But it was the Chicago Bears, who offered what the Raiders were asking for. They have negotiated a deal with Mack and his agent while working out the trade compensation to the Raiders.
End of an Era
The Raiders drafted Mack with the 5th overall pick of the 2014 draft, and he was worth every penny spent and then some. In his four years in Oakland, he has been one of the top defenders in the game, even when they switched schemes and moved him to outside linebacker, to the dismay of fantasy owners. He won All-Pro honors as both a defensive end and linebacker in the same season.
These types of players don’t come around very often, and the Raiders are going to miss him big time. He gave them over 300+ tackles, forty plus sacks, with eleven pass deflection and nine forced fumbles. He was a lock for seventy-five tackles and double-digit sacks each season. They will miss his fierce and relentless motor. More importantly, they will miss his leadership on the field and in the locker room. Below you can see the difference with and without Mack on the field.
I understand that it’s hard to pass up on the potential haul that a player like Mr. Mack could bring, but there is no guarantee that you will get back or even close to what he can give you.
The Chicago Bears may be on their way back to being the Monsters of the Midway. They have lacked on the defensive side ever since the great HOF LB Brian Urlacher retired. But now brighter days are seemingly ahead, and this defense will be feared once more.
They drafted super rookie Roquan Smith and now have made the move to acquiring superstar Khalil Mack from the Raiders. They will no doubt have to give up a lot, but what they will get in return is one of the most dominating players in the league. This deal will be a win for both the Bears and Mack. The Bears will instantly get a young star that they can build their defense around and an upgrade their pass rush and impact player, which is something they have needed. This division is loaded with talent at QB, so getting an elite pass rusher is a must. Mack is going to dramatically change how opposing offenses attack them. He will also make those around him better as well. His versatility to line up all over the field will be a huge impact and gives the Bears some creativity options they didn’t have before.
Mack will benefit of getting a fresh start after things fell apart this offseason and the jabs being thrown by new head coach Gruden. I see this as pure motivation, as if he needed any, for Mack to prove that he is the best defender in the game.
Mack also gets the advantage of beating up on fresh opponents, that just aren’t familiar with him. Despite what you watch on tape, you can’t fully understand his impact until to you see it face to face. I also like the fact that Mack will have younger defensive teammates to grow with. While they may not have the experience of veterans, they are eager to learn and grow, as well as the energy they can bring. I look to be rejuvenated this year and be the new Monster of the Midway! His coming to Chicago instantly puts the rest of the NFC North on notice, and their QB’s an uneasy feeling.
The Fantasy world is in an outrage and ready to riot! They just got Mack back to being designated as a defensive end in most leagues, and now that is all set to change, as he undoubtedly will get switched back to linebacker. Everyone Breathe!!!
This isn’t the end of the world and not as bad as everyone thinks. Yes, I agree, having him listed as a defensive end gives him much more value and a great option for us fantasy owners. I was ecstatic as anyone when we all got word that he would indeed be a DE again this year, but I was also one that owned him when he was listed as an LB.
The fact is, his game didn’t change all that much, if any, it’s just us fantasy owners being greedy and selfish. I am one of those owners, but I am not going to be one that gets rid of him now. Sure you will have to adjust your rosters, which you already had set and we’re excited about, but it will be okay. I see him having an even better season in Chicago. He’s going to want to prove the Raiders wrong and unleash his reign of terror on the NFC.
If you’re a fantasy owner who doesn’t have Mack on your roster, now is the time to make offers for Mack. The owner that does have him could be upset and disgruntled by this news and be willing to move him a little cheaper or easier. Just remember breathe! Good luck my fellow IDPNationers.