As we get closer and closer to opening day of the NFL season, the Raiders still haven't made progress in contract talks with star defensive end Khalil Mackand at this point it appears that his holdout will continue into the regular season.

The Raiders are entering their first season under head coach Jon Gruden. Gruden may be starting the season without one of the team's most important players. In four seasons with the Raiders, Mack has 304 tackles and 40.5 sacks. In the past three seasons, he's had sacks in double digits.

On Wednesday's "Off the Bench" podcast, Danny Kanell and former Marlins president David Samson talked about holdouts from a front office perspective, keying in on Mack's current situation. They also talked about the power structure within the Raiders, specifically Gruden's control of the team. Finally, they talked about the impact a potential Mack holdout could have on the Raiders' season. 

The Raiders were disappointing in 2017, so they're looking to right the ship this year. Playing without Mack could seriously hurt their chances of doing so, especially if he misses a pivotal early-season match-up like Week 2, when the Raiders travel to Denver to play the divisional foe Broncos.

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