The Jon Gruden era began on Monday with the Oakland Raiders, but Khalil Mack wasn’t there as he holds out in hopes of a contract extension.
Along with five other NFL teams, the Oakland Raiders began their offseason program on Monday. Everybody notable was in the building, save for their best player. Outside linebacker/defensive end Khalil Mack decided not to show up for the first day of voluntary OTAs, likely as a message that he wants a new contract.
Mack is entering the fifth-year option on his rookie deal, slated to make $13.8 million this season. However, the former No. 5 overall pick wants to get a long-term extension, something that he and general manager Reggie McKenzie haven’t been able to hammer out yet.
To this point in his illustrious career, Mack is a two-time First-Team All-Pro and a three-time Pro Bowler. In 2016, the 27-year-old was named as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and has a total of 40.5 sacks despite little help around him.
With those numbers — and his age — in mind, the Raiders will have to pay through the proverbial nose to keep their star. Mack is likely to command somewhere in the $20 million per year range, topping out at a total value of $100-120 million with at least $75 million guaranteed. Oakland won’t pay him more than Derek Carr’s five-year, $125 million pact, but he’ll slot in close behind.
Should the two remain apart on a contract extension, Mack is probable to sit out the voluntary portion of the offseason and perhaps mandatory minicamp. If the former University of Buffalo star doesn’t show up for the start of training camp, then the heat intensifies.
Oakland still has most of the leverage, though. The Raiders can tag Mack for each of the next two seasons, and if Mack were to not show up for the season, he doesn’t get a year accrued toward free agency. Still, all of that is a long way off and, frankly, unexpected.