The Oakland Raiders and Chicago Bears struck a trade involving 2016 Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack which shook the NFL. It featured a plethora of draft picks, plenty of drama and eventually, a huge contract extension for the talented pass-rusher.
Let’s take a look at a few facts which jump out from the situation, beginning with the terms of the deal between the Raiders and Bears.
Trade Terms Favor Bears on Surface
As ESPN’s Adam Schefter first revealed, the terms of the deal were eye-opening. It was expected the Raiders would receive two first-round draft picks, but the fact that they gave a second-round pick back is head-scratching. In total, the Raiders will receive four picks while the Bears picked up the star defender and two picks of their own in return.
It’s impossible to clarify a “winner” in a trade immediately after it happens, but the Bears picking up both Mack and a second-rounder is strong.
Terms of Khalil Mack’s Contract Extension With Bears
Obviously, the Bears and Mack were going to waste no time getting a new deal done. Just after Aaron Donald signed a huge six-year, $135 million contract extension with $87 million guaranteed, Mack one-upped him.
Chicago’s new pass-rusher became the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history and earned more guaranteed money than Donald in the process. This was how the two contracts were expected to play out, as whichever player signed first (wound up being Donald) would reset the market for the other.
Bears Were Reportedly Only Team Willing to Meet Asking Price
While it seems like a lot on the surface, players like Mack don’t come around every day. He’s an elite pass-rusher with the ability to get to the quarterback in a way very few players are capable of. The Bears offered up the two first-round picks Oakland requested, although there were rumblings of multiple other strong offers being on the table as well.
At Least Four Teams Were ‘Seriously’ Pushing for Mack
We know the Bears were one of the four teams making a run to acquire Mack via trade. Along with them, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area cited that San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch said his team was “aggressive” in talks with the Raiders.
That makes two, and it seems a third was the Cleveland Browns. Josh Edwards of 247Sports revealed the Browns and Raiders did speak about a potential trade, but there was no known deal put on the table. The fourth and final team is the big question mark, but realistically, you’d have to envision the bulk of the league at least reached out to gauge what it would take to land a player of Mack’s caliber.
General Manager Reggie McKenzie Didn’t Want to Trade Mack
As NFL analyst Mike Freeman reported, this decision likely came down to head coach Jon Gruden. As Freeman stated, general manager Reggie McKenzie wasn’t interested in dealing the team’s defensive star.
If this was indeed the case, then McKenzie wound up losing the battle to Gruden, or whoever was pushing to get the trade done.