The Oakland Raiders find themselves in a significant standoff with stud pass rusher Khalil Mack. Entering his fifth year option, Mack is holding out for a better contract. He has 40.5 sacks through four seasons, and he knows the Raiders could choose to use the franchise tag in 2019 and 2020.
Now that Mack has missed some of training camp and there is no end in sight to his holdout, talk has turned to whether or not the Raiders would trade him. Rumors have sprouted up, with Mike Freeman saying one NFL executive told him what was a zero percent chance a few months ago is now a 20-30 percent chance.
My guess is Mack will be there Week 1, and this will be resolved. Trade rumors are part of the dance, but more often than not, a player returns to start the season. The same likely holds true for Mack, but in the meantime, that doesn’t mean we can’t consider hypotheticals!
The 49ers lack a traditional dominant edge rusher. Cassius Marsh and Jeremiah Attaochu are getting opportunities in sub-packages, with Solomon Thomas and Arik Armstead playing on the edge in the 4-3 look. One or more could very well break out, but there are few bigger questions on the roster.
The 49ers are not going to trade for Khalil Mack, but I am still curious what people would be willing to give up to make a deal happen. People will throw names out there, but it’s going to take first round picks more than anything else. Sure, the 49ers could throw in an Arik Armstead, but that’s just what it is in this kind of deal — a throw-in. Would you give up a pair of first round picks to make this kind of deal happen? Would it take more?
(We’ll just ignore the use of 52 in this photoshop!)