News broke on Thursday morning that Raiders star edge rusher Khalil Mack and head coach Jon Gruden have not spoken since Gruden got the job.
One of the biggest story lines following the Oakland Raiders offseason has been the absence of their star pass-rusher Khalil Mack. While negotiating a new contract, Mack has yet to show up for any offseason commitments, including training camp which began yesterday. According to Adam Schefter, Gruden and Mack haven’t spoken since Gruden took charge.
This news is concerning for Raiders fans as their beloved pass-rusher has yet to sign his contract extension, despite claiming his desire to spend his entire career in the Silver and Black. Schefter followed up on Twitter, saying that Gruden has tried to make contact, but has yet to prevail. Perhaps insinuating that the lack of communication is coming from Mack’s camp. Maybe a next-level negotiating tactic? Who knows.
It is an understatement to say that Mack is underpaid for the value he provides. Still on his rookie deal, Mack carries a contract of $13,846,000. For reference, Von Miller is making $17.5 million and one could argue that Mack is a comparable player.
Mack and fellow star Aaron Donald appear to be playing chicken with their negotiations, waiting to see what the other gets as a form of leverage. Without question, both players will get paid, it is just a matter of when and how much.
Regardless, this isn’t a good look for the franchise and their shiny new (old) head coach. At the end of the day, the NFL is a business, and the team needs to repair this relationship with Mack by paying him what he wants.
After all, he is arguably the team’s most talented player. Last season they extended their franchise quarterback Derek Carr, now they need to do the same with Mack. Assuming that the relationship isn’t already ruined, and Mack will take his services elsewhere next season.