The Raiders' stunning decision to trade Khalil Mack to the Bears back in September has had a dramatic effect on the 2018 NFL season. For one, Mack has turned a good defense in Chicago into a great defense, while his absence in Oakland has left the Raiders with one of the worst defenses in the NFL.
Of course, the upside for the Raiders is that they. Not only are they getting two first-round picks from Chicago (2019, 2020), but they're also getting a 2019 sixth-round pick and a 2020 third-round pick from the Bears.
Although that's quite the haul, could the Raiders actually have gotten more compensation?
The answer to that question appears be yes.
During an interview with Bay Area radio station 95.7 The Game this week, 49ers general manager John Lynch revealed some interesting details about his team's attempt to land Mack. Apparently, Lynch wanted Mack so badly that he was willing to pay nearly any cost, since guys like him almost never become available.
"I don't want to beat a dead horse, but we tried like heck to acquire Khalil Mack," Lynch said. "But it didn't work out. But, you try by any means necessary to get it but it's not easy. Guys that are free, they never become free because they're so coveted in this league. They're franchise (tagged) typically or they work out a new deal."
During the interview, Lynch was asked directly if he believed that the 49ers made a better offer than the Bears.
"I continue to (believe that)," Lynch said.
So not only did Jon Gruden trade away the Raiders' best defensive player, but he also might not have even taken the best offer on the table!
Although Lynch didn't give the exact details of his 49ers offer, he definitely still seemed a little miffed that the Raiders didn't make the trade with San Francisco. It's possible the 49ers offered two first-rounders and a second-rounder, which would have topped the Bears' offer. It's also possible that 49ers were willing to throw in a player on top of their draft picks.
So why would Gruden and the Raiders have passed up a potentially better offer from San Francisco?
For one, it's possible the Raiders believed the Bears' first-round picks would be "worth" more because they were supposed to be worse than the 49ers this year. With Jimmy Garoppolo under center, the 49ers were widely viewed as a potential playoff contender, while the Bears were picked by most people to finish in third or fourth place.
Lynch also has his own theory on why the Raiders didn't take San Francisco's offer: It would have kept Mack in the Bay Area ,and the Raiders didn't want that.
"Were we ever in consideration?" Lynch said. "I understand the thought of sending him right across The Bay -- I don't know how that factored in -- but it is what it is. The Bears have certainly benefited from adding a the services of a guy like that and we move forward."
Although the Bears have benefited from Mack, the Raiders definitely aren't going to be benefiting from Chicago's draft position. The Bears arein the draft, which will go to the Raiders. On the other hand, the 49ers are currently in line to land the No. 1 overall pick, which would have gone to Oakland if the Raiders had traded Mack to San Francisco. Of course, a player of Mack's caliber could have meant a few extra wins for San Francisco, but it's hard to imagine they'd be playoff bound.
Basically, it's starting to look like the Raiders might end up regretting the fact they didn't take the 49ers offer.