As Raiders gave up on Mack, Rams and Seahawks took a different tack

Getty Images

Raiders coach Jon Gruden is not backing down from his decision to trade star pass rusher Khalil Mack, but his latest explanation for the move wrongly suggests that the Raiders had no other choice.

“Obviously Khalil Mack didn’t want to play here. That’s what’s being missed here. He was under contract,” Gruden told ESPN. “He was under contract, he never showed up for an OTA, he never showed up for training camp, and it was obvious he wasn’t going to show up for the season. Don’t forget that. We have to get ready to play and I want players that want to be here, that want to help us put this thing back in high gear.”

Of course, there’s nothing that says a player has to be traded just because he doesn’t show up. The Rams didn’t trade Aaron Donald when he didn’t show up, the Seahawks didn’t trade Earl Thomas when he didn’t show up, and many, many NFL teams have worked things out with players who held out of training camp.

The Raiders could have done what the Rams did with Donald and given Mack the contract he wanted. Or the Raiders could have done what the Seahawks did and held firm until Mack reported. (Unlike Thomas, Mack likely wouldn’t have reported in time to play in Week One, but if the Raiders had refused to budge he would have reported eventually, as his only other option would have been retiring.)

But Gruden is on Year One of a 10-year contract and calculated that the draft picks and cap space he acquired by trading Mack to the Bears will be worth it. In the long term, he might be right. In the short term, he’s wrong to suggest that he had no other choice.

84 responses to “As Raiders gave up on Mack, Rams and Seahawks took a different tack

  1. It’s “bad for business” for Seahawks, Steelers, Rams to treat players without respect. GM’s need to understand they’ve got 52 other young men on that roster hoping that if they prove themselves, the team will recognize those feats with new, attractive contracts.

    So when Seattle disrespects Earl, when the Rams say they’d acquire-then-dump Mack, when the Steelers disrespect Bell year-after-year; what impact does that have on the locker room? Is it worth it? If one guy decides to walk elsewhere in free agency, then you’ve negatively impacted the team, its reputation, and future prospects.

  2. Nothing will ever be Chucky’s fault. Get used to it. He’s just an innocent bystander and always will be.

    He needs to own the Mack situation. From not negotiating with Mack to the trade, it was all Gruden.

  3. “3 Fingaz says: September 11, 2018 at 9:15 am Cheaters 27 Texans 20”

    Obsessed loser-trolls always bring up the Pats in an article about other teams.

  4. Gruden is a new coach in Oackland who was put in a difficult situation. I’m sure it was very difficult for him to commit the most money given to a defensive player in NFL history to a guy he’s never met yet he’s an offensive coach. If he did he would be almost handicapping his whole philosophy yet the draft picks open up all dreams for him & we all know how much he loves the draft.

  5. Regardless of how Chucky chose to handle Mack, it appeared Mack was not going to play until he had a big contract with Carr’s contract they just couldn’t afford him anymore. Raiders were smart not to tie up that much money in him and get what they could. as long as they don’t whiff on the draft picks, they will be fine.

  6. bottom line : you cant have success when you pay defensive players QB money, unless you have a QB on a rookie deal. However when that day day comes where your QB wants to be the highest paid QB in the NFL ( which is par for agents/qb’s) and you have a defensive player making 25 million, your doomed with 50 million going to two players. Funny Raiders and Bears both had terrible second halves of a gamer. In the Raiders case , the refs gave the Rams more yards in penalty yards in the first half , than they had in total offensive yards. Rams are a legit SB contender.

  7. allsyntax says:
    September 11, 2018 at 9:13 am
    It’s “bad for business” for Seahawks, Steelers, Rams to treat players without respect. GM’s need to understand they’ve got 52 other young men on that roster hoping that if they prove themselves, the team will recognize those feats with new, attractive contracts.

    So when Seattle disrespects Earl, when the Rams say they’d acquire-then-dump Mack, when the Steelers disrespect Bell year-after-year; what impact does that have on the locker room? Is it worth it? If one guy decides to walk elsewhere in free agency, then you’ve negatively impacted the team, its reputation, and future prospects.
    ++++
    How was Earl disrespected? Or Mack? I get it. Sometimes the only leverage a player has is holding out. But very few holdouts benefit the player. Very few. And how come teams don’t use the ‘respect’ card as often as players?

    The problem with pro athletes is they think ‘respect’ equates to being the highest paid. It has nothing to do with the team and ‘respect’. What it really means is the amount of money you’re making compared to other players at your position. If you’re the highest paid at your position, then team is not ‘disrespectful.’

    Hogwash.

    You’re only worth what you’re willing to be paid. That’s goes for everyone in this country.

  8. datwell600 says:
    September 11, 2018 at 9:33 am
    The cap was introduced to stop a handful of players from hijacking a team.
    —————–
    But, that IS what seems to be happening.
    My favorite writer (Peter King) was gong on and on about how it is a good thing to use 10% of the cap for 2 players… CRAZY, couldn’t believe it.
    The CBA was setup to spread the money around.
    Instead of giving it to rooks it is now being given to a couple of vets.
    CRAZY!

  9. I’d have a lot more respect for Gruden if he’d just come out and say we didn’t want to pay Mack for what he’s worth and he feels the draft picks they got will help build the team for the future.

  10. .
    Khalil Mack alone was not going bring the Raiders an AFC West championship. They need to get their cap in order and bring in an influx of new talent before they’ll be surpassing Kansas City, Denver and the Chargers.
    .

  11. If the Raiders would have had Mack last night I’m sure they would have won, actually no they wouldn’t have. It’s a good thing the Bears won with Mack’s dominating performance, oh wait they lost.
    PFT must really have it in for gruden. Maybe he slept with Florio or smiths wife.

  12. Amazing and not one post from Joe Toronto, he must have locked himself in his mom’s basement and refused to come out until the Raiders get a win. I hope he has lots of beef jerky stashed down there, he’s going to be there a long time.

  13. Mack had a great game and is a great player that deserved to be paid. The success or failure of Oakland’s end of that deal won’t be determined for 3 years at least though.

  14. The Raiders have had one winning season in the last 15 years. Gruden wasn’t brought in to continue that garbage. He’ll get this team turned in the right direction. He still has a lot of cleaning up to do. You can’t build a dynasty when all your money is tied up between 2 guys. I thought the Raiders looked good last night. The rookie tackle played well, and their running game looked good. The Rams 2 best plays were defensive penalties against the Raiders, and they had the number one offense in the league last year. I’m excited about the Raiders’ future.

  15. Gruden called a pretty good game, but the execution was poor. Even Booger appreciated the play calling of coach.
    Carr had deer in the tail lights look on his face the second half, even though the oline did a pretty good job against a super talented dline. Didn’t even look down field, was getting the ball out as quickly as possible. Jared Cook loved it, not sure about the WR’s. And the blooper interception was as bad a play as I’ve seen him ever make.
    This loss falls squarely on the shoulders of Carr.

  16. The Mack situation is going to haunt that team. What kind of message does it send to the young guys when you draft and develop a star player like Mack and then not pay him? I can’t imagine the young guys in that locker room are busting their ass for this organization. Preserve your body and go get paid by someone else.

    The Raiders are old, short on talent and have a coach who is still stuck in the 90s and tied to a $100M guaranteed contract. Do they even have the money to buy out Chucky in a couple of years? The future looks bleak for that team.

  17. purplepride11 says:
    September 11, 2018 at 9:10 am
    Gruden is stupid, he didn’t even try to keep.the best player on his team. If the reports are true he never even called him.

    Says the fan of the team that is the NFC version of the Bills zero Super Bowl victories !

  18. Mack showed out in the first half Sunday and the Bears……..LOST!
    talking heads saying this puts Gruden on the hot d=seat when, in actuality, it confirms the decision.

    And Gruden already said “we couldn’t pay what he was asking” so he owned it. He said the stuff about Mack not wanting to be there as a follow up because people wont let it go.

  19. Jon a Gruden is a fraud. He is NOT an elite head coach in the NFL. Nor is he a good evaluator of NFL talent. An offensive coach? Did you see that offense last night? Bottom tier. He has fooled you all. Al Davis built and coached those teams of the late 1990s and early 2000s NOT Gruden. He luckily won a Super Bowl with the opposing team’s playbook literally in his back pocket on the sideline. What has he really accomplished? Nothing!!!!

  20. Citing Aaron Donald and Earl Thomas as examples is misleading, because there is also the example of Le’Veon Bell, who did not show up. Khalil Mack may not have shown up like Earl Thomas, and the Raiders were not ready to pay Mack Aaron Donald type money. Besides the Raiders did not lose because they did not have Mack. They lost because Derek Carr, their franchise quarterback, did not play any better than Conner Cook or EJ Manuel after the first drive. If Carr keeps this up, he may be benched.

  21. Gruden is a horrible person to be in charge of personnel but he WAS NOT wrong in this case. Mack was not going to show up and if he did it would have been to late to salvage the season anyways. Then what are the Raiders left with when Mack jumps ship in the offseason? Maybe a compensatory pick in the 3rd round? That’s insane. They couldn’t pay him franchise QB money and unless he plays every game like he played the last game, he can never play up to his contract. For the money he made, the Raiders could sign five good players. It’s better to have five good players than one great one. One thing is for sure, 100% of all NFL players get hurt. The fact that the Raiders now have the cap space to pay five good players as well as two #1 draft picks makes this a big win for the Raiders…. maybe not today, but next season and seasons going forward. Anybody else that suggests anything different doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about.

  22. Last I looked the Bears lost too. Mack didn’t seem to stop Rogers and the Packers from scoring 20 points in the second half. Macks stats are useless if the team doesn’t win. That’s all that matters…Wins and Losses.

  23. oreoflorio says:
    September 11, 2018 at 9:51 am
    Remember people Gruden inherited Carr…

    ———–

    He “inherited” Mack too. He just drove out the wrong guy

  24. Offensive gurus should pay defenders so they don’t have to worry about that side of the ball as much. A $100M coach should be able to make due with lesser offensive players. It’s what Belichick does in NE. He pays the offense and cycles through defenders (c. Jones).

  25. Where are the Raiders fans and their Khalil Mack “ain’t worth it” math? I seem to remember last week reading here at PFT many Raider faithful declaring that “rather have a franchise QB” instead of overrated D-lineman. What is the Carr contract breakdown dollars per interception…since there were no TD’s thrown last night by Franchise QB Derek?

  26. badmude says:
    September 11, 2018 at 10:32 am
    Last I looked the Bears lost too. Mack didn’t seem to stop Rogers and the Packers from scoring 20 points in the second half. Macks stats are useless if the team doesn’t win. That’s all that matters…Wins and Losses.

    ———————

    So the next time the Packers lose Rodgers should be given the pink slip? Rodgers stats are useless if his team loses a game as well.

  27. Come on. If Mack cost what Thomas is costing, the Raiders would still have him. Apples and oranges.

    As others have pointed out, Mack didn’t give the team winning seasons. Teams pay Donald & Mack-level salaries in feverish attempts to win now and to create excitement as coaches try to cling to their jobs.

    If every coach had 10-year contracts, I doubt a single non-QB player would get these kinds of contracts, and maybe even a few of the QBs, too.

  28. He may have a 10 year contract but it’s my guess by year 3 someone else will be coach of the team and using those draft picks.

  29. When he’s handed a good roster he can get them to win. But Gruden has never shown any ability whatsoever to actually build a winning roster. Just look at his first Oakland run and his time in Tampa.

  30. But he isn’t suggesting that he had “no” other choice. Of course he had another choice. Heck, he could have hired someone to kidnap a loved one of Mack – bad choice, but still a choice. What he IS suggesting is that he didn’t have any other GOOD choices, and/or that this was the BEST choice. Might be right, might not, but don’t make it out to be something it isn’t.

  31. Mack and Thomas are two totally different situations. The Seahawks would have traded him had they gotten their price. Thomas decided to report.The Seahawks suspected he would. He will play out his contract and then hit FA. More power to him.

    Mack was also under contract and decided he wasn’t going to play without his next big deal. He was going to hold out despite being under contract. IT was not even his tag year – as that was next year.

    In the same situation last year, Donald held out of training camp but advised he was going to report. He did. He played well and the Rams had cap room due to a cheap QB situation.

    I’m all for a player getting what he thinks he deserves, but understand that when that happens it makes it exponentially harder to put a championship TEAM together. And when two players demand it, it is even harder. To win, sometimes players have to make sacrifices and front offices have to hit on the younger cheaper players. I hate to say it, but that is how the Patriots have persevered all these years.

  32. The only mistake Gruden made was not trading Mack on draft night. Then Chuckie could’ve loaded up on offensive players in the draft and in free agency. Now the Raiders are screwed. The offense has nothing but Cooper and a bunch of scrub receivers that scare nobody. The focal point of the offense is a 32 year old running back on the back 9 of his career with no viable backups. Carr is good, but is nowhere near elite and won’t be able to carry this awful roster. The defense is atrocious and without Mack, can’t pressure QBs at all. This is a 3 win team… if they’re lucky.

  33. According to NBC Peter King knows more about this than Gruden or Mack, so lets all just gather around the camp fire and listen to him.

  34. If the Raiders trade those picks to get in position to draft Nick Bosa it would be a fair exchange for them.

    Derek Carr is a talented QB, but he’s not a winner. He couldn’t even beat San Jose State in a big game in college. Gruden has to study the way Bill Musgrave used Carr. Conservatively, and keep the ball on the ground.

  35. purplepride11 says:
    September 11, 2018 at 9:10 am
    Gruden is stupid, he didn’t even try to keep.the best player on his team. If the reports are true he never even called him.
    ————————————————————————
    How did Mack with his $23 million a year and a 20 point lead fair for the Bears?

  36. simplec72 says:
    September 11, 2018 at 11:42 am
    How did Mack with his $23 million a year and a 20 point lead fair for the Bears.
    —————————————————————————————

    It’s not about the Bears. It’s about you all. You all really didn’t have to trade Khalil Mack. You had his exclusive rights.

    The problem with the Raiders is that they believed they drafted a franchise QB and a Hall of Fame pass rusher. They knew they had to re-sign both. When you have that kind of problem approaching…YOU DO NOT GO OUT AND SIGN FREE AGENTS.

    They say you can’t have a franchise QB and DE making franchise QB money…yes you can. But you can not when you’re overpaying Bruce Irvin 8 million a year. K Osemele 10 million a year, Jordy Nelson 7 million dollar Cap hit; Tamir Whitehead 5 million Cap hit, Rashaad Melvin 5 million dollar Cap hit…

    You do what Tony Dungy did when he had Peyton Mannninf, D Freeney, Bob Sanders, Reggie Wayne, and Marvin Harrison making big money. You find players in the draft and UDFAs and develop them into solid starters…

    Under this CBA you have to draft and develop your own to keep your own. Leave the Free Agents to the teams who can’t draft.

  37. There’s a very low chance that two mid first rounders yield a player as good as Mack.
    __________________________________________

    What makes you think they will be low. Chicago is a current flavor around the league, but I’m not sold on Mitch Trib or Ryan Pace for that matter. 3-13 isn’t out of the question again this season. Next year might be different, but I’m not smelling mid to low first round picks coming from the Bears efforts this season.

  38. I wonder how many weeks its going to take before the Mack story goes away. If ever. The Bears won the day, now lets move on.
    ******************************************

    How exactly did the Bears win the day? They overpaid for a stud DE that basically gave them the same results that the organization had last year (a loss) – they could have done that WITHOUT Mack and kept all of their picks and cap room.

    Watch the replays of that game – he had a great 1st half and disappeared when GB started rolling in the 2nd half, what happened to his greatness there?

  39. There’s nothing wrong with trying to build a team around players who want to be on your team. Kirk Cousins didn’t want to be a Redskin, but they kept him around by franchising him, and it wasn’t good for the team culture. Trading Mack means two number 1 picks and a boatload of cap space.

  40. oreoflorio says:
    September 11, 2018 at 9:51 am
    Remember people Gruden inherited Carr…
    ——————————————
    Exactly – wouldn’t be surprised if coach already has his eyes on a couple of QB’s in college to potentially use one of those #1’s for in the next couple of years.

  41. Looks like Reggie picked the wrong player from that draft to pay. Hopefully he’s gone when the Raiders go 4-12. He sucks at the draft and he sucks at GMing.

  42. The Raiders didn’t do much last year, so there’s that. He won’t be missed. Now let’s see how they do drafting with those picks.

  43. The truth of the matter is this: the Raiders couldn’t afford Khalil Mack

    And I’m not even talking about the salary cap. I’m talking about the guaranteed money that has to be put in escrow upon the contract being signed. The Raiders literally did not have $90 mil in cash to make that happen. They are the most cash poor franchise in the league.

  44. saulg2 says:
    September 11, 2018 at 9:42 am
    datwell600 says:
    September 11, 2018 at 9:33 am
    The cap was introduced to stop a handful of players from hijacking a team.
    —————–
    But, that IS what seems to be happening.
    My favorite writer (Peter King) was gong on and on about how it is a good thing to use 10% of the cap for 2 players… CRAZY, couldn’t believe it.
    – – – – – – – – – – –
    The problem is when you pay two guys QB money @25 million you are using 30% of the cap space for two guys- it just wont work

  45. For all you pros that want to trash the Raiders…I read your posts and realized that your mom’s and dad’s furtilization eggs should have had an experation date on them…

  46. where are all the articles about the bears blowing a lead and letting a one legged Rodgers bomb all over their Defense WITH the highest paid player in NFL history on that defense?

    yeah didnt think so the hate is only one sided as normal.

  47. 1nationraidernation says:

    The problem is when you pay two guys QB money @25 million you are using 30% of the cap space for two guys- it just wont work.:
    ——————————————————————————————
    Actually it’s closer to 26% which will keep shrinking as the salary cap grows.

    And yes you do pay those two guys when one of those players is a “Franchise QB”, and the other is a Hall of Fame pass rusher that affects the other team’s QB.

    You can have a revolving door at positions where players come a dime a dozen. A Hall of Fame Edge rusher comes along once or twice every 20-30 years. When you have a player like Khalil Mack who possesss talent, instincts, desire, intensity, and work ethic. You simply re-sign him. If he misses OTAs and practices…so what. He’s more than earned that right to withhold his services because he feels he’s outperformed his contract.

    Khalil Mack told the Raiders….”we couldn’t talk, but money talks, so talk more bucks”

  48. nhpats says:

    September 11, 2018 at 10:37 am

    oreoflorio says:
    September 11, 2018 at 9:51 am
    Remember people Gruden inherited Carr…

    ———–

    He “inherited” Mack too. He just drove out the wrong guy
    ___________________________

    He also inherited a Super Bowl Ring…

  49. chinahand11 says

    Obsessed loser-trolls always bring up the Pats in an article about other teams

    ——————

    Sorry, but I have seen far too many Patsie fans troll on other teams articles for anyone to take your post serious. You literally just trolled a troll, you troll.

  50. 49ersfury says:
    September 11, 2018 at 2:23 pm
    1nationraidernation says:

    The problem is when you pay two guys QB money @25 million you are using 30% of the cap space for two guys- it just wont work.:
    ——————————————————————————————
    Actually it’s closer to 26% which will keep shrinking as the salary cap grows.
    – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – –

    “IF” the salary cap grows……We will know soon enough ESPN contract is up in 2021, and NBC, CBS, FOX all up in 2021. Direct TV has raised their price to over $400 bucks a year for red zone just to try to make a profit on its 1.5 billion annual fee…..Bottom line the networks pay those fees because they can make a profit from selling the advertisement, but if ratings continue to slip, not so sure about the future of the cap until 2021. Also very easy to come from a fan of a team who only pays one player double digits in the millions.

  51. Gruden saying Mack was under contract says more than enough
    Being under contract trumps what a player wants

    Everyone knows this

    What’s NOT missed is the fact that it’s obvious the Raiders didn’t value Kahlil Mack

  52. “The cap was introduced to stop a handful of players from hijacking a team.”

    Wrong! The cap was invented to protect Dallas and the Niners from overpaying all the top talent. I remember a SI article many years ago, asking why those 2 teams had 6 of the top ten players at the time. The league never anticipated having the highest paid players sitting down with tax accountants and lawyers redrawing contracts to elude the spirit of the order of the draft which was designed to balance talent between teams.

  53. “Gruden signs a 100 million dollar contract and he thought Mack was asking for too much?”

    Mack won’t play another ten years and no matter how good he is at his position, he cannot have as much influence on winning as say, Aaron Rodgers. lol

  54. My favorite part of this whole thing is how the media keeps pushing at “Mack’s dominating perfomance”. Were we not all watching the same game? He bullied an awful back up QB in Kizer and made ONE play against Rodgers, where he got hurt. He was NO WHERE TO BE FOUND for 3.25 quarters of that game.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!