Kahlil Mack to Chicago?
The good news: The Dolphins don’t face Khalil Mack when playing host to Oakland in the third game of the season. A very winnable game, in other words, edges even more that way.
The better news: A playoff-hunting Oakland is weakened by trading Mack – and they didn’t trade him to Jets, the Dolphins’ AFC East rival and the other team reportedly wanting Mack badly. For that matter, Mack is out of the AFC altogether, meaning Cleveland and Indianapolis who were also in the mix didn’t land a player who would put them in serious playoff discussion.
Yes, if you’re looking at it from a Dolphins-centric manner, this trade couldn’t have been much better save for Oct. 14 when Chicago comes to town for what looks to be a much tougher afternoon. The Bears now how two versatile players to build a defense around in Mack and a young Roquan Smith.
Why weren’t the Dolphins involved?
Well, they’ve invested heavily in defensive ends/pass rushers already. Robert Quinn. Cameron Wake. Charles Harris. Andre Branch. William Hayes. None are of the caliber of Mack, of course, but this is already the deepest position on the team.
Plus, there’s cost. Money and picks. The Dolphins have $14 million in cap money to spend. Sure, they could re-shuffle stuff. But to spend a possible two first-round picks as well?
Add it all up and it works for Chicago in some sense. There’s a link between the Rams signing Aaron Donald for six years and $135 million in the richest contract by a defensive player and Chicago trading for Mack, who will probably set the bar even higher.
Each team has a quarterback on a rookie contract. They had a window to invest elsewhere as long as they have their quarterback playing for cheap. The Rams have Jared Goff. The Bears have Mitch Trubisky. Yet another reason why you should keep drafting QBs.
If I’m a Chicago fan, I love this trade. But not everyone did. Oakland quarterback Derek Carr tweeted, “No way.”
2. So we’re a week out from the Dolphins season and I offer advice on how to survive it in a column. One of the rules: Don’t schedule a Monday morning meeting with the New England Patriot fan in your office. That could be cause for more heartburn.
3. Aaron Rodgers raised the bar for quarterbacks: Six years, $174 million. Money is flowing in the NFL this week. Business is good. Rogers deal also puts a premium on knowing how to structure a team according to its window. The Rams, who have Jared Goff on his rookie deal, spent big elsewhere. The Browns and Jets can, too, as I mentioned, depending how Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold work out. It also makes you marvel at Tom Brady, who just signed a two-year, $30 million deal this year to remain one of the most underpaid players in sports to purposely give his team more money to win.
4. The over-under line set by oddsmakers seems like easy money for Kenyan Drake to gain more than 800 yards and Ryan Tannehill will throw for more than 21.5 touchdowns … doesn’t it?
5. Real-world division: I’m passing along this incredible story written by John McCain about his 5 ½ years in a North Vietnamese prison during the war. It’s incredible.
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