While many consider the OTA process as essential, others feel different. With Jon Gruden taking the helm, this edition of offseason feels important. Meanwhile, not everyone is present during this time. Raiders DE Khalil Mack did not show for these activities. To his credit, make is absolutely justified. Yet, some will counter his stance. Here is why he is right.
As he approached the final year on his rookie deal, Khalil Mack justified his demands years ago. In four seasons, Mack tallied 53 sacks. In Raiders history, only four players accumulated more (Townsend, Long, Smith, and Pickel). Currently, Mack enjoys three consecutive double-digit sack seasons. All Mack appears to want is compensation for a player of his caliber. Some fans believe that by sitting out OTA, Mack shows a selfish. Granted, these same people would change jobs over wanting more money. Regardless of what anyone thinks Mack’s motivations are, he will sign a nine-figure deal with half of the contract guaranteed.
During his career, Khalil Mack practically serves as the pass rush for the Raiders. Outside for that moment of Aldon Smith and Bruce Irvin contributing, he provides the majority of the pressure. In return, at the bargaining table, all Mack needs to do is play game film. If the Raiders fail to pay, using the franchise tag could irritate the situation. In that case, Mack’s number grows, to the delight of his agent and dismay of the team. Pass rushers of his caliber do not wander on to the field every day. Staying away puts pressure on the organization to get themselves together.
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Over the past three seasons, the team locked up their franchise quarterback and standout guard. Ironically, Carr and Jackson make up the trifecta of talent from the 2014 draft. In that same draft class, the Raiders selected Mack with the fourth pick. When Carr signed for 125 million and Jackson inked a lucrative deal, Mack waited his turn. Now, the bill is due. In reality, by waiting, the Raiders are driving up Mack’s demands. With each passing day of OTA, the cash register keeps ringing.
Given these points, faulting Khalil Mack for skipping OTA remains one of the most overwhelming things fans do. If he is to remain the defensive cornerstone, the Raiders need to back up the truck to Mack and pay through the nose. Reggie McKenzie realizes this, and he will pay. The only question remains when. Rest assured. Above all, Mack wants to play. In that case, a deal should happen soon. Besides, imagine the uproar over a long holdout.