One of the strangest stories of the NFL offseason continues and there seems to be no end in sight.
The Oakland Raiders and Khalil Mack continue their contract dispute and according to Yahoo Sports, there’s been no progress made.
As of Monday evening, sources said both sides remained entrenched in the same positions that have contributed to a stalemate in negotiations since February: with the Raiders declining to offer Mack a contract extension and with Mack seeking a long-term deal that would make him the NFL’s highest paid defensive player. One source said there have been no meaningful talks between the two sides in months and that the situation has devolved to a deadlocked “pay him or trade him” conversation.
What makes the matter even more stranger is the fact that HC Jon Gruden has yet to have any form of contact with Mack, as the contract talks have been in the hands of general manager Reggie McKenzie:
While McKenzie has long had his own thought process on how Mack would be extended, a deal of this magnitude can’t be consummated without Gruden’s approval. Needing Gruden to sign off essentially has put him in charge of the purse strings when it comes to Mack’s extension (or lack thereof), which has apparently been a drag on talks that haven’t gotten off the ground. This was a point made forcefully clear by multiple sources – that unless team owner Mark Davis steps in, Gruden has the final say over whatever happens with Mack’s deal. This means whether Mack is traded, extended or shelved until reporting to the franchise on his current deal, Gruden’s final call is the definitive piece of the puzzle.
There have been rumblings of a possible trade but for now, the Raiders seem inclined to drag this out as far as they can and for Khalil Mack, he seems totally fine with it.