As Khalil Mack continues his lengthy holdout, there’s increasing talk that the Raiders could trade him. If they do, the Packers appear to be the leading candidates to acquire him.
The sports book Bovada is taking odds on which team Mack will play for after the October 30 trade deadline, and the Packers, at 11-4 odds, are the favorites. They’re followed by the Bills at 7-1, the Cowboys, Colts and Jets at 8-1, Washington at 9-1 and the Steelers at 12-1.
There’s no doubt that Mack is a player who would help the Packers’ defense, but there are reasons to think a trade could be a long shot. It would take a lot to pry Mack away from the Raiders, and just how much are the Packers willing to give up? The Packers have two first-round picks in the 2019 NFL draft, their own and the one they acquired in a draft-day trade with the Saints. Would they give up both first-round picks for Mack? That seems doubtful, but it’s probably what the Raiders would want if they’re going to trade him.
And then there’s the issue of the enormous cap hit Mack will have. No team is going to trade for Mack without getting him to agree to a long-term contract, and Mack isn’t going to sign for anything less than an enormous payday, perhaps rivaling whatever Aaron Donald and the Rams agree to for the biggest payday for a defensive player in NFL history. It may be hard to convince a team to give up a fortune in draft picks for the right to pay Mack a fortune in cash. It would be especially tough for the Packers, who are negotiating what may end up being the biggest contract in NFL history with Aaron Rodgers, to also manage to fit the biggest defensive player’s contract in NFL history under their salary cap, and still build a deep roster elsewhere.
That’s why the safest bet is that that Mack will remain a Raider. Those odds are 3-2.