If the Raiders don’t want to give Khalil Mack a new contract perhaps they’ll trade him. What would Oakland look for in exchange for their superstar?
On the surface, the idea of the Oakland Raiders trading Khalil Mack seems insane. Then again, Jon Gruden has never been afraid to make an unconventional decision. The real question is how much would the Raiders need in return to move on from their defensive superstar?
Any team that’s willing to acquire Mack would presumably be willing to hand him a massive new contract. That’s something that Oakland has been unwilling to do up until now. Instead, Gruden continues telling the media that the Raiders’ defense wasn’t good witch Mack on the field last season. Most Raiders fans shudder to think how the unit would have performed without Mack.
The point of acknowledging the need for a new contract is to make it clear that will cut into what the Raiders can reasonably expect to get in a trade for Mack. He may still provide significant value when he becomes one of the highest paid defenders in the NFL, but it won’t be the same amount of value he’s provided Oakland on his rookie deal. Raiders’ executives must acknowledge this reality if they’re going to enter into serious trade negotiations.
That doesn’t mean they can’t demand a really high price for Mack. He is, by all objective and subjective measures, one of the top defensive players in the league. Establishing fair value for him is going to be an extremely difficult matter for the Raiders. They can’t realistically expect to get one player or draft pick that can provide them equal value for Mack.
That’s why, quite simply, they need to be looking for multiple high-value assets. Ideally, the Raiders could obtain a pair of first-round draft picks as a part of any deal for Mack. They should be looking for at least one selection in the top half of the round. Something in the late-20s shouldn’t really move the needle for Gruden and Co.
The Raiders should also want to secure a young, established player with significant upside as a part of any deal, especially if only one high pick is coming over. It would be nice if it were a pass rusher that could help replace some of the void Mack will create upon his departure, but that shouldn’t be a deal breaker. The important thing is for Oakland to get a young player who has already shown promise at the NFL level.
There aren’t a ton of teams who have the assets to make this sort of deal work. That shouldn’t be a concern for the Raiders front office. They need only be concerned with getting a significant return if they let Mack go. One high first-round pick and a promising young player with Pro Bowl potential, or two first-round choices, should be the very least the Raiders require to move their superstar.