Reggie McKenzie: What Khalil Mack was demanding wasn’t going to work

AP

It was clear to the Raiders early on in Khalil Mack‘s holdout that he wanted far more money than the Raiders wanted to pay him.

That’s the word from Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie, who said after trading Mack to the Bears that the Raiders could tell early on that Mack was going to demand a contract the Raiders weren’t prepared to deliver on.

“All of us, [coach Jon Gruden], myself, everybody in the organization wanted Khalil to be a Raider,” McKenzie said. “We presented him with an offer, and we got that counter back, talked about it with [Mack’s agent, Joel Segal]. What they were demanding, it just wasn’t going to work.”

What Mack was demanding was to be the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL, and that’s exactly what the Bears made him. The teams also exchanged draft picks, with the Raiders getting the Bears’ first-round picks in 2019 and 2020. Now the Raiders need to make those picks work.

72 responses to “Reggie McKenzie: What Khalil Mack was demanding wasn’t going to work

  1. It sounds absurd on it’s face, but chalk this up as a “salary cap casualty”. There’s no way the math would work unless you’ve got a QB under contract like the Bears/Rams/Eagles, etc. have. No way. That’s the new normal in this league. You can build a prolific offense under a franchise QB with a franchise QB salary, or you can have the highest paid defensive superstar. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

  2. People are thinking another spoiled brat athlete. But what is Raiders loss is Bears gain. And hope that the Raiders can build up the defense despite Mack’s loss. BTW, heard it was something about Gruden that Mack did not like. Not just money.

  3. Reggie will not be making those picks in 2019-2020 so it doesn’t matter. He has swung and missed on to many high round picks(Hayden, Obi) that now should be the foundation of the team.

  4. I still don’t see why the Raiders would give back a 2nd, even if two years out. Based on expectations of records in 2020, the 1st they got won’t be that many picks ahead of the 2nd they gave up. The picks the Bears gave up were not too much, their only question is whether the money kills them in other areas.

  5. There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that Son-of-Al & Gruden the flimflam artist were the ones who drove the Khalil Mack trade but they don’t have the guts to publicly own it. So they put McKenzie – who is a figurehead on his way out – up front to take the flack.

  6. Reggie should be worried about his job. Look at draft and free agent history. 1 really good draft 4 years ago is only going to let you els slide for so long.

  7. Lots of draft capital for a so so team to give away for a single edge rusher. Let alone the gurenteed cash. This deal will handcuff the Bears for the foreseeable future. I’m not bashing Mack’s talent in any way. He’s a very very good player. BUT trading away 2 first round draft picks is a complete roll of the dice on Trubisky. I’m not sold on Trubisky as a ‘franchise quarterback’ going forward. And that’s the caveat here. Defensive players aren’t quarterbacks annnd VERY rarely are ‘game changers’ worth the investment. Suh? Hanesworth? Nay! White? Taylor? Of course. That’s ssuming that your franchise is on the cusp of winning a Super Bowl. Mack isn’t close to the latter two mentioned and the Bears are not ‘one or two peices’ away. JJ Watt is the ONLY player in recent history (when healthy) that can take over a game defensively all by himself (please point out who ever I’m missing here) Problem is Watt hasn’t been healthy for the last two seasons (Andrew Luck and OBJ come to mind but are on offense). Hey maybe I’m wrong but if I’m a Bear’s fan I’m livid over this trade!

  8. Trading a 27-year old player (who, it should be mentioned, was already under contract and will be 28 in February) to avoid what would have been a disastrous salary cap situation, makes sense to me.
    Obviously, McKenzie and Gruden must make good use of those picks and I think the fact Reggie doesn’t have a stellar history in that department is what has Raider fans so upset.

  9. “We’re gonna find a way” said Gruden, “you’ll see”. They could have but decided not to due to balancing high cost against trade value. But as Florio pointed out yesterday, the second honeymoon is already over – and not simply because of Mack but because of Gruden already being like he was before – always running his mouth, giving a running commentary on players and pre-lining them up in front of his bus ready to blame, AND making promises then doing something else. And don’t forget he got pushed out at Tampa for being mediocre – the final straw being when they got dumped out of the playoff hunt by an at the time awful 3-12 Raiders.

  10. Mack – “this works for me”

    Bears, Broncos, Chiefs and Chargers – “this works for us”

    Raider fans, Packers, Vikings and Lions – “ah..not so much”

  11. When Gruden said, “we weren’t good last year with him”, it really showed his stance on the deal. Why pay all that money to one player who couldn’t make us good last year?

  12. As much as it pains me to say it, the Raiders made a great deal. What Mack was asking for was not a good value proposition and getting a pair of first round picks is value. Two first round picks should be bargains for 4-5 years each. Mack and his 10 to 11 sacks don’t impact games at that position like a QB or DB would.

  13. Long term this is a great deal for the Raiders. Mack is a great player but the Bear’s success/failure hinges more on something that has nothing to do with him…. Mitch Trubisky. I for one am not sold on him as a legit NFL QB. If the Raiders makes those picks work they win this deal and it isn’t close.

  14. The Raiders have been financially, the worst run team in the NFL for years. They have had money problems going back to the 60’s when Bills owner Ralph Wilson had to bail them out. Now they have Mark with the 3 dollar haircut running the show into the ground….talk about a dumpster fire!!!

  15. Very smart move, what team can afford a $25M salary cap number for a d player? Add a $25m qb, then how do you fill a roster?

  16. Oakland obviously did not have $60 million to put in escrow for the fully guaranteed money Mack wanted. The value of the franchise is not liquid. The Raiders also have the costs of the move to consider. The cost of the teams facilities is estimated at $100 million. The relocation fee to the NFL is $350 million. Cash flow probably dictated the decision, not Jon Gruden. The cap also needs to be considered. While Mack’s cap hit this year is $13.8 million it jumps to $22.3 million in 2019. With Carr a $25 million cap hit this year and $22.5 million in 2019 keeping Mack was difficult at best and, depending on the Raiders’ plans, potentially catastrophic. Using Startec projections (without including free agent signings next year) 20 of the 32 teams will have one player with a cap hit over $20 million in 2019. 18 of those 20 are quarterbacks (exceptions are K. Mack and J. Huston). Five teams have two players over $20 million (Denver, NY Giants, Philadelphia – if Foles stays, Pittsburgh and Tampa). Seven teams have no players with a projected cap hit over $20 million. Oakland is projected to be one of the majority with one player over $20 million. Mack signaled his determination to reset the market in February and did not waver so the Raiders had no choice but to move on. By the way, those who question the decision of the Raiders to relocate – the Forbes value went from $1.43 billion in 2016 to $2.1 billion in 2017 after the move was approved. Good for business; lousy for fans.

  17. .
    If a team and player can’t reach an agreement on a contract, then the best thing for both parties is a trade. Each of the principals seemed happy with the terms of this deal. The Bears acquired a proven top tier pass rusher who may help to neutralize Aaron Rogers. The Raiders received a treasure trove of picks which will prove a marketers dream in promoting their move to Las Vegas.
    .

  18. Key, Hurst, and Hall…they are banking on these 3 rookies that have a ton of potential. Sure, the Raiders D front took a bit of a hit but I don’t think it will be as much as some think. They have a lot of depth at the DT position and can rotate DEs pretty well too. Time will tell, but I wouldn’t count them out.

  19. On the one hand, the Raiders probably mismanaged this, they should have tried to sign him after his third year or during his fourth year.

    On the other hand, once the 4th year ended and Mack demanded this much the Raiders had two choices: trade him for a lot or let him sit out, then tag him in 2019. Considering what they got in trade value the Raiders did OK.

    The clear loser is the Bears. They are not ready to compete and getting Mack makes them better for a couple of years, but their window will close when they have to pay Trubisky if he turns out to be worth keeping.
    Ryan Pace doomed the Nears to be a so-so team for the next several years.

  20. Mark Davis is cash poor until he moves to Vegas and stops paying rent and starts making real NFL owner money.

    He can’t put $90 million up front in escrow.

  21. I don’t get it, they paid Carr like he’s top 5 when he’s really top 20 yet they couldnt pay the 2nd beat defender jn the NFL? Raiders are as dysfunctional as my colts

  22. I’m thinking that with the Carr deal and signings all those free agents that Oakland just doesn’t have the cash on hand needed to do a big deal.
    And although Gruden’s money doesn’t count against the cap, but they still need to pay it.

  23. Productive edge rushers:
    Von Miller 5-11
    Khalil Mack 6-10
    JJ Watt 4-12 and injured 2 years straight
    Chandler Jones 8-8

    As a raider fan it sucks to see him go but you can’t sell the farm for an edge rusher and expect to be a great overall team. Great move. Bears just got hosed.

  24. All but two draft picks made the final 53 this year. I’ll be watching how Fadol Brown and Arden Key, pass rushers, play this year. The draft picks not making the final 53 were 6th round pick, LB Victor and 7th round pick WR Ateman. The Raiders carried 6 wrs.

  25. michigan product Reggie Mckenzie
    has a 36 wins – 60 loss record as g.m..

    Some guys get a free pass.
    reggie mckenzie is that guy.

    mckenzie is a cap space guy.
    NO MORE. NO LESS.

  26. Simple mathematics here. The Raiders already paid their quarterback while the Bears still have theirs on a rookie deal. When or if Trubisky gets paid, there will be a bloodletting of the roster in Chicago depending on how the new CBA works out. In the meanwhile, the Bears have a three year window to win before they have to make serious decisions with the roster. They also must nail their day 2 and 3 picks in the draft and pray they can contribute in order to keep costs down moving forward. A solid gamble, but they are putting a lot of faith in Nagy as there are no pushovers in the Norris Divison….old heads know what I’m talking about.

  27. He wanted QB money. And eventually got it. Can’t really blame them. Especially with the “once-in a generation” DLine and pass rush talent in next year’s draft.

  28. I think Oakland won this deal – they got a huge draft haul for a guy they didnt want to pay and now they can build properly – through the draft. Also….if Gruden wants to get his own QB in next years draft…you can go get him if Carr doesn’t pan out.

    Chicago does have the makings of a scary defense for years to come though

  29. If the Raiders signed him you people would say what a stupid move it was given him all that money in handcuffing yourself with the salary cap and now you’re complaining because the Raiders traded him and got two first round picks for him, effing hypocrites.. if it was your team, it’d be different though, stupid people

  30. glenne81 says:
    September 2, 2018 at 7:28 am
    Let’s be clear, this guy is not LT.
    ==========================
    Longevity and greatness don’t go together too long on the defensive side of the ball in the NFL. LT, Reggie White, Ronnie Lott, and not too many others were worth the risk. With the cap money gained by dealing Mack, they can sign two very good players and they also have the two first round picks. The Bears own a depreciating asset. As the bears get good again, Mack will fade. This trade reminds me of the Raiders trading for Richard Seymour. The Patriots couldn’t afford him, but turned him into a first rounder.

  31. I’m confused as to why people keep bringing up Haynesworth. Have you no memory? Dude was a POS before Snyder paid him. mack’s teammates confirm he’s everything you want in a teammate and is also GREAT not very good.

  32. 2since96 says:
    September 2, 2018 at 7:47 am
    When Gruden said, “we weren’t good last year with him”, it really showed his stance on the deal. Why pay all that money to one player who couldn’t make us good last year
    ——-/————————————————————-
    Maybe because you’re paying all that money to a QB who couldn’t make you good last year.

    Your offensive and defensive coordinators were jokes, and both of them are probably out of football right now.

  33. The Dolphins made Suh the highest paid defensive player in history in 2015 and then watched their run defense become the worst in football over the next two years, all that money for absolutely nothing.
    Good move Raiders, you didn’t destroy your salary cap like we did, all for nothing.

  34. Gruden could let Mack go because he knows the Raiders are gutted at many positions and the two 1’s could help restock the shelves. The Bears could do it because they needed one position and had the capital.

    It’s that easy.

  35. Realistically, the 1sts they got from the Bears might be top 10 to go with their own top 10 picks over the next 2 years….

  36. Remember Al Davis’ famous quote, Just Pinch Pennies Baby?

    Seriously though, as much as it suuuuuucks to see him go, that’s a lotta scratch for someone who doesn’t throw the ball

  37. “When Gruden said, “we weren’t good last year with him”, it really showed his stance on the deal. Why pay all that money to one player who couldn’t make us good last year?”

    You have no problem paying Carr.

  38. motleytrap says:
    September 2, 2018 at 10:23 am
    “When Gruden said, “we weren’t good last year with him”, it really showed his stance on the deal. Why pay all that money to one player who couldn’t make us good last year?”

    You have no problem paying Carr

    Carr is a franchise QB who touches the ball every play on offense

  39. Italianhood says:

    “Carr is a franchise QB who touches the ball every play on offense”
    ———————————————————————————————

    And Khalil Mack is a elite edge rusher who affects the other team’s franchise QB who touches the ball every play. on defense.

  40. Here’s the guy that helps Gruden with scouting. His father, Tony, was the one that helped build the 49ers dynasty.

    Dave Razzano’s career includes stints with the San Francisco 49ers (1988-1992), St. Louis Rams (1992-2006) and Arizona Cardinals (2006-09). He assisted in building teams that have won three Super Bowls and five NFC Championships. He worked closely with several renowned coaches, including Bill Walsh, George Seifert, Chuck Knox, Dick Vermeil and Dennis Green. He also worked with current Raiders head coach Jon Gruden with the 49ers in 1990.

  41. Don’t be fooled thinking Mark Davis doesn’t have the money to put in escrow for Kahlil Mack. The Raiders offered him 20 million a year and he didn’t want it so the Raiders did what they had to do. Does it hurt, yes. But their overall defense last year wasn’t that good with him and that’s a fact. This year we got a D-coordinator and our defense look like a real defense for once. We have to better overall as a complete team.

  42. I hate to c Mack leave but happy w the haul we got. 23.5 a yr for 6 yrs is too much for a DE. I’m sure he’ll make the transition to a 3-4 OLB & is going to still be rushing the QB the high majority of the time but he is changing positions and defensive philosophy going from a 4-3 DE to a 3-4 OLBer.

    What we did get is the most compensation in the history of the NFL in any trade involving a defensive player getting 2 1st rd picks as it’s never happened before. We also get 23.5 million a year to spend on 2-3 FA’s in the coming years.

    Not going to be able to replace his production but hopefully a cpl of these rookie and 2nd year D-Lineman in Hurst Key Hall Brown and Calhoun can step up and contribute this year.

  43. motleytrap says:
    September 2, 2018 at 10:23 am
    “When Gruden said, “we weren’t good last year with him”, it really showed his stance on the deal. Why pay all that money to one player who couldn’t make us good last year?”

    You have no problem paying Carr.
    __________________________________

    Do you not realize Carr was paid before Gruden? And he’s a QB. Use your brain.

  44. Giving up 2 1st rounders for a defensive player and THEN giving that player 141 million dollars ???? It won’t take long for the team to regret this one. Especially when he has 12 sacks and they still finish 7-9.

  45. I also love the people who don’t blink when all of these mediocre QBs including the Raiders one get paid but have a problem with the actual best players getting paid their worth. No one is going to be in any kind of salary hell if you manage things right as the salary cap goes up. However, watch Gruden start handing out bad contracts like candy for players he hand picks because he thinks he knows best just like he did in Tampa on his way to destroying that roster too. Now, when they’re paying his guys top five money in 2 or three years as they go 7-9 and 9-7, watch the same fans say they’re doing the right thing. So brain dead. This idiot was just chasing Suh in FA, but they couldn’t give Mack what he earned.

  46. Sounds like Oakland knew well before the draft that Mack would be dealt. A draft day trade would have made a lot of sense. They could have had Chicago’s first pick this year.

  47. Raiders are bleeding financially that’s shy they are moving to Vegas. California is broke, super high liberal taxes, Oakland is a dump, all the players and coaches will love Vegas no income tax! Soon they will be a force

  48. Despite having a highly paid offensive line and QB, The Raiders are in a position to have a lot of cap space next year. If you are going to pay big time money to a defensive player, I’d much rather pay a shutdown corner who takes half the field away in the passing game over a guy who averages 3/4 of a sack a game.

  49. Mack got about what he should have relative to the cap and other top pass rushers. The Raiders didn’t have the cash required to make a deal with him. They got a lot of draft capital for their new coach to work with, and I’m guessin that’s why money was more of an issue. Gruden has decided that Carr is not his guy, so they’re going to need cash and draft assets to get whoever he thinks will be the guy.

  50. As a life long Bucs fan (no apologies required) I can tell you with all candor, Gruden single handedly destroyed the roster that Rich McKay and Tony Dungy built…in two seasons.

    Sorry Raider fans… Chucky is a terrible personnel guy. You are in for a long ten years.

  51. “I’d much rather pay a shutdown corner who takes half the field away in the passing game over a guy who averages 3/4 of a sack a game.”

    Do the Raiders have that shutdown corner?

  52. cap3rich ,

    Yep. This would be funny if this hadn’t happened before pretty much in the same fashion. I always love when people watch the exact same thing go down and expect differently. Some of us even called early in the off-season he’d start getting rid of their best players, and he wasted no time. Those high priced guards are next because Tom Cable is a zone blocking expert while those guys are power run blockers. Then, the kicker will be when he finds some flunky veteran (old) QB to roll with instead of Carr because it won’t be his precious system why they go 6-10. Gruden is an idiot, and anyone who would look back objectively on his career post his first stint with Oakland and away from Al Davis who nobody gives credit for his initial success, by far the most that he had, can see that clearly.

  53. Good luck to Mack. He was all class. Wish he would have reported to camp. Wish he would have accepted 18-20 mil in hopes of a Super Bowl with the Raiders, but as a player you gotta grab the money when you can. Raiders did the right thing, but I’m not sure about giving up a 2nd round draft pick.

  54. Good luck with that Reggie … odds are you’ll whiff, you just don’t trade a player of this caliber, they don’t come along often enough, if ever!!

  55. milkcan44 says:

    September 2, 2018 at 6:33 am

    I still don’t see why the Raiders would give back a 2nd, even if two years out. Based on expectations of records in 2020, the 1st they got won’t be that many picks ahead of the 2nd they gave up. The picks the Bears gave up were not too much, their only question is whether the money kills them in other areas.
    —————–
    Raiders got a 3rd round pick in exchange for that 2nd rounder. Not a big deal.. Bears probably begged for it since they don’t have any 1st rounders until 2021.

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