Former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack wants a new contract. The Oakland Raiders have yet to oblige in making him the game’s highest-paid defender.
That’s led to Mack not participating in any of the Raiders’ organized team activities in Jon Gruden’s first offseason running the ship.
It’s a disconnect. A major disconnect. Entering the final year of his rookie deal, the former first-round pick is slated to earn a $13.85 million base salary. That’s not the issue. He wants a long-term commitment from the Raiders.
In talking about his best player, new Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther called Mack out in a big way.
Guenther on Khalil Mack: "He's going to have a lot of catching up to do." He's focused right now on the guys who are here.
— Jimmy Durkin (@Jimmy_Durkin) June 5, 2018
That’s certainly one way to go about it. Call out one of the best defensive players in the game publicly while he’s away from the team due to a contract stalemate.
Guenther and the coaching staff might want to put all the onus on Mack here. But that’s about as absurd as it gets. At just 27 years old, Mack has earned three consecutive Pro Bowl appearances with two First-Team All-Pro nods. He’s racked up at least 10.5 sacks in each of the past three seasons, earning NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award back in 2016.
There’s little doubt that Mack is up there with Derek Carr as the face of the Raiders’ franchise. These types of comments are not going to go over too well in his camp. And in reality, they could help lead to a hold out in training camp.