Breaking Down the Khalil Mack Trade

If you told people at the start of the offseason that all-pro linebacker Khalil Mack would be traded from the Oakland Raiders they would laugh in your face. But on this day, you’re the one that would be laughing.

Mack, along with a 2020 second-round pick and a conditional 2020 fifth-rounder, were traded to the Chicago Bears on Saturday for two first-round picks in addition to sixth and third round selections.

Once the deal became official, the Bears proceeded to give Mack a lucrative extension of 6 years $141 million making him the highest paid defensive player ever.

Alright let’s break this down. On the Raider side of things, no one is happy. General Manager Reggie McKenzie even said it was never the intention to trade Mack; but it happened.

It is just the start, but this move makes the decision to bring Jon Gruden back look horrendous. Since he has been in charge, Gruden has traded a walking hall-of -famer, helped form the oldest NFL team, and anger the entire fan base. Not the best!

Still, you have to try and put yourself in Gruden’s shoes. Mack wanted a lot of money. Should they have paid him? I say yes a million times over but Gruden (who signed a ten year $100 million deal himself) thought the price was too much.

Gruden may also have thought that the team – even with Mack- wasn’t going to win anything this season. So signing Mack would just create a stranglehold on the team’s cap for the next few seasons allowing Gruden to do very little, if any, management of the roster.

As for the Chicago Bears, you deserve a big ol’ medal. Grabbing a pass rusher of Mack’s caliber makes them such a better team. Their defense was already improving and now they have Mack and rookie LB Roquan Smith for 2018 and the forseeable future.

They are just going to keep getting better and better while quarterback Mitchell Tribusky is still on his rookie contract. Why is that important? Well, based on what QB’s are being paid nowadays teams have to capitalize on the quarterback’s contract when they are young. Tribusiky doesn’t hit free agency until 2022 and isn’t making a whole lot. That gives the Bears a chunk of money to toss around before they have to pay their quarterback; so they go out and get Khalil Mack. In a word, brilliant.

Overall I think most would agree that the Raiders look stupid and the Bears look like geniuses. Getting an elite player when he is only 27 by just giving up picks? Glorious. The picks could end up turning into the Ryan Leaf’s of the world for all we know.

This deal starts both the Gruden and Matt Nagy era’s with a bang. For Nagy, he has fireworks popping left and right while Gruden is standing there with a sparkler in his hand trying to figure out how to manage this Raider team for the next 10 years.

-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)

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