The Chicago Bears made a massive splash on Saturday morning with their acquisition of Khalil Mack,the former Defensive Player of the Year. But Chicago wasn't alone in ringing up Oakland and offering a nice package for the opportunity to give Mack record-breaking money, the pass rusher.
The whole thing was wild,.
According to Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie, "more than half the league" called to inquire about Mack when it was clear that the defensive end (who will now be a 3-4 outside linebacker in Vic Fangio's scheme) was on the block and available.
Rumor was the Raiders wanted NFL Draft., and that probably wasn't far off, considering what the Bears ultimately surrendered for Mack. The Raiders decided, per McKenzie via Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review Journal, to try and target the team most likely to give them a high pick, or the team most likely to give them the highest pick in the 2019
Ultimately they decided that team was the Bears. From that perspective, it was a good decision. The Bears might very well be a playoff contender and end up doing something crazy, like winning the division. More than likely, they're fighting an uphill battle as a wild-card contender that has to deal with the Vikings (sick defense) and Packers (Aaron Rodgers) twice a year.
The Bears could have a really good season and still go 7-9 and give up a top-15 pick in the upcoming draft. Things could go south and the Bears could be handing over a top-10 pick to the Raiders.
Or the Bears could be great and the Raiders will be seen as a team that doesn't want to pay really good players. According to McKenzie,, but there will be people who question whether it's true.
At any rate, there were other teams interested in Khalil Mack! So who might those teams be? Let's look at three teams that ultimately might have missed out on landing the superstar pass rusher and why they might have missed out.
New York Jets
We Rich Cimini of ESPN reports they attempted to make a trade for Mack during the process. It makes total sense: the Jets have a roster on the rise, but badly need some pass-rush help.earlier this offseason and the Jets were absolutely involved in the Mack sweepstakes --
They also have a young quarterback in Sam Darnold on a rookie deal, meaning they have a window to put their roster together. And they're loaded with cap space, too, making them an obvious landing spot for Mack. If I had to guess, the hold up here would be not wanting to surrender multiple first-round picks in a situation where they could potentially find themselves drafting with a top-10 pick over the next two years.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers got heavily involved in the chatter as well, GM John Lynch confirmed to the San Jose Mercury-News, going after Mack "aggressively."
"Yes, we would have been foolish not to. The guy is a spectacular player," Lynch said. "We've always said we'll exhaust every option to improve our team.
"We went aggressively but also knowing that we had to set some parameters, and we did. Somebody else landed him. We're excited about our team."
The 49ers would have been an interesting fit as well, what with the multiple former first-round picks on their defensive line already. DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead and Solomon Thomas are already on the line -- adding Mack would have made the 49ers absolutely terrifying. Although it's also possible the 49ers didn't want to give up two actual picks, instead perhaps trying to trade one of those defensive linemen AND a future first-round pick in exchange for Mack.
San Francisco has plenty of reason for optimism, but giving up a ton of draft picks for Mack might be a problem. And it's entirely possible that the Raiders believed a) Mack in the Bay Area would be a bad look and b) the 49ers will finish with a better record than the Bears.
Green Bay Packers
A surprisingly aggressive offseason by new GM Brian Guntekunst led many to believe the Packers would be willing to pony up and try to land Mack in a trade. Those people weren't wrong!
According to Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal, the Packers did make an offer to the Raiders, but it was not one that included both of the first-round picks the Packers hold for 2019 after trading with the Saints (the Marcus Davenport deal netted them an additional first).
Instead of offering the Raiders the two firsts next year, which might have actually gotten the deal done thanks to the immediacy of the picks, the Packers offered "one of their first-rounders plus other picks" according to Wilde.
And it's possible the two first-round picks wouldn't have gotten it done either. Having three first-round picks would be extremely appealing for Oakland, but both the Packers with Mack and the Saints are expected to be good next year. Those picks could very well end up being in the bottom 10 of the draft.
For Green Bay, it's a pretty big nightmare, because instead of adding Mack to an improved defense and potentially fueling a Super Bowl run with a healthy Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are now going to face Mack twice a year, including once during Week 1 of the season.