Now that Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald has received the largest contract given to a defensive player, a potential baseline has been set for Khalil Mack and the Oakland Raiders to negotiate a deal that would end Mack’s holdout and reward him with a well-deserved payday. If not, then at least teams with their hearts set on making a trade to acquire the 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year have a better idea of what it will take to successfully pull off a deal.
But in the opinion of one anonymous NFL general manager, it wouldn’t be wise to bet on Mack playing anywhere other than Oakland.
“If I was a betting man, I’d bet on Mack playing out the year with Oakland,” the anonymous GM told ESPN’s Mike Sando, who is the latest to further explore the depths of the Mack rumor mill. “Because if you are going to give up two ones, and then Aaron Donald is going to come in at a really high number, and then Mack is going to want more than that, it’s a lot.”
That’s certainly a valid point. Not only will trading for Mack cost a ton in draft assets, the extension is going to be worth a pretty penny, too. And despite the costly price of doing business, the anonymous GM believes the Chicago Bears are one of the teams that could pull off such a deal.
“The Jets and Chicago are two teams that could do it, in my mind,” the GM told Sando. “But it’s a lot.”
You’ve got to give something to get something, right? And the Bears appear to be positioned to give a lot to fill a need with a high-end talent.
One executive Sando spoke with for the piece said they could envision the Bears considering pushing their chips to the center of the table and making a deal for Mack. While another viewed Chicago as a team that could do it because of the need and flexibility, even as the team banks on Leonard Floyd to come through with a third-year breakout. These rumors simply aren’t going away. Not when the Bears have a need and not when there is a situation that seems far away from being resolved.
The Bears have long made sense as a trade partner with the Raiders in a Mack deal, and they have the pieces to do it. Chicago has a need at the position, the ability to absorb Mack’s cap hit, and create room for the beefy contract extension that is on the horizon. Oakland has reportedly set a high asking price for Mack, which could virtually eliminate the odds of a blockbuster trade. Then again, the Raiders haven’t totally ruled out the possibility of a trade. Clearly, this is one of those situations that we’ll continue to monitor until a contract is signed, a deal is made, or the trade deadline has passed.