Raiders coach Jon Gruden and holdout defensive end Khalil Mack haven’t spoken. Which is fitting, because the Raiders and Mack’s camp haven’t done much speaking, either.
Specifically, the two sides have had no contract talks since February, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.
It’s hardly an encouraging sign, especially in the aftermath of Gruden’s remarks that fairly could be viewed as a slap at Mack, even if Gruden didn’t intend them to be taken that way. (And if he didn’t intend them to be taken that way, Gruden should be trying to undo the potential damage by setting the record straight.)
Mack enters the final year of his rookie contract, with a fifth-year option salary of $13.846 million. By rule, he’s subject to fines of $30,000 per day (for players under the fifth-year option, the fines are lower than the standard $40,000), but he can be fined a regular-season game check (i.e., $814,470) for each preseason game he misses.
If the holdout lasts into the regular season, Mack will have to decide whether to show up before Week 10, which would give him credit for the final year of his contract, or to sit out the entire year. That would toll his contract, nudging his $13.846 million salary into 2019.
On Monday’s PFT Live, Chris Simms predicted that Gruden, for whom Simms played in Tampa, eventually will insist on the Raiders getting the team’s best player into camp. Gruden recently promised a gathering of fans that Mack, the NFL’s defensive player of the year for 2016, would indeed return.