The Raiders traded their best player, sending Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears on Saturday.
Here are the full details of the trade:
The Raiders are giving up Mack, a 2020 second-rounder and a conditional 2020 fifth-rounder in exchange for a 2019 first-rounder, 2020 first-rounder, 2020 third-rounder and 2019 sixth-rounder. The Bears are also giving Mack a six-year, $141 million extension with $90 million guaranteed and $60 million guaranteed at signing, per ESPN. The deal comes out to $23.5 million/year, which is $1 million more per year than Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald received Friday in his new contract and the new richest defensive deal in NFL history.
Mack hadn’t reported to the Raiders yet amid a holdout, as he was seeking a long-term extension entering the fifth year of his rookie contract. Mack was set to make over $13.8 million in 2018, but agent Joel Segal and Mack felt he should be compensated as one of the best defensive players, if not the best, in the NFL.
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Donald pulled in the richest defensive deal in NFL history Friday, when he agreed to a six-year extension worth $135 million with $87 million guaranteed. That’s an average of $22.5 million per year, which Segal wanted to top for his client.
The Raiders evidently weren’t willing to go that high, and are now moving on from the player they drafted fifth overall in 2014.
“You want to have your best player here,” Jon Gruden said on Aug. 15. “This guy is really a great guy, too. I’m disappointed we don’t have him here. Going to try to get him here as soon as we can. In the time being, you got to move on. You’ve got to get up and go to work.”
Veteran Tank Carradine had been the first-team defensive end opposite Bruce Irvin in Mack’s place, with rookie Arden Key showing he’s a prominent piece for the future defensive line. Well, the future is here sooner than anyone thought it would be not long ago, and the third-rounder out of LSU will have some big shoes to fill in his debut season.
Mack, 27, won Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. He made three Pro Bowls in his first four seasons and was named a first-team All-Pro in 2015 and 2016. He established himself as one of the game’s best pass-rushers, if not the best, and gave the struggling Raiders hope for the future.
In the last three seasons, Mack has recorded sack totals of 15, 11 and 10.5. The Raiders were among the worst teams in the league last season in taking down the quarterback, hence why they moved Irvin to defensive end and drafted Key, defensive tackle P.J. Hall and defensive tackle Maurice Hurst.
“I think it’s fair to say that we would all love to have Khalil here,” quarterback Derek Carr said during training camp. “If I tried to answer it politically correct and all those things, we all know that we want him back. I think everyone feels that in our whole building. We all know that when it comes to how things are done and all of that, I don’t go to that. I have been in contact with him. He’s my brother. We came in the same class. We’re going to leave together some day. I’m fully confident with where Khalil is at and where our team is at. Obviously we want him back, but again I try not to step into that. He was over at the house and we didn’t talk about it one time. We played pool basketball and I dunked on him.”
Mack was loved in the Raiders locker room, and you have to think no players will be happy with this move, regardless of what the Raiders got in return. The fan base is certainly incensed with Gruden, but this was clearly a mammoth offer he and the Raiders couldn’t refuse after they weren’t willing to pay Mack as much as the Rams paid Donald.
Irvin tweeted Saturday morning, “No f****** way” about his fellow defensive end’s reported trade, before following up that tweet with, “What a shock. Now move on and win.. time to beat the Rams!!” Carr tweeted, “No way,” as well.
Los Angeles descends upon Oakland on Sept. 10 for each team’s season opener on Monday Night Football. What was supposed to be Gruden’s grand return in front of the home fans has a little less glimmer to it now.