The Khalil Mack extension saga in Oakland seems to have drawn to an unexpected close. Rather than reach an agreement with their all-world defensive end, the Raiders have reportedly agreed to trade him to the Chicago Bears.
The Raiders reportedly haven’t negotiated with Mack at all since February. In hindsight, it seems now like they’ve been more interested in trading him this summer than in keeping him. New head coach Jon Gruden, for example, hasn’t yet even met Mack, according to ESPN. Multiple recent reports had the team drawing abundant interest from potential trade partners around the league, but Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reported that it would take at least a pair of first-round picks to pry Mack out of Oakland. Lo and behold:
Mack is entering his age 27 season; he’s never missed a regular season game; and he’s a pass-rushing terror, one of the most valuable commodities in football. The whole reason to have first round draft picks is for the chance to land a player as durable and explosive as Mack. If paying a 27-year-old pass-rushing monster what he’s worth isn’t in the cards for the Raiders organization under Jon Gruden, there will be very little reason for Raiders fans to get excited about what a pair of shiny new picks can do for the team’s long-term future.