June 25, 2024

 

Ex-LB Floats Idea of Raiders Adding $141 Million Defender With Ties to New GM

tom telesco

The Las Vegas Raiders have made many questionable draft picks across the last decade but one of the best moves they made was taking Khalil Mack with the No. 5 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Despite being a perennial Pro Bowler with the team and being named Defensive Player of the Year in 2016, the Raiders traded him away to the Chicago Bears before the 2018 season. Mack is now with the Los Angeles Chargers in a previous trade orchestrated by new Raiders general manager Tom Telesco.

Now that Telesco is in Las Vegas, former Raiders linebacker Kirk Morrison floated the idea of Mack coming back to the team in a January 23 X post.

Mack is under contract with the Chargers for the 2024 season but has a $38.5 million salary cap hit. If he’s cut, the team could save nearly $23 million in salary cap space. Considering the Chargers are projected to be $45 million over the salary cap, per Over the Cap, Mack is a strong candidate to get cut this offseason.

A trade seems highly unlikely. Mack turns 33 in February and has an injury history. Teams, including the Raiders, would likely rather wait to see if he hits free agency than consider a trade for him. The price for the star pass rusher shouldn’t be too high in free agency.

Khalil Mack Had Bounceback Season in 2023

It was starting to look like Khalil Mack’s best years were behind him. From 2019 to 2022, he didn’t have a single season with over 9.0 sacks. He was still solid but nothing close to the player who won Defensive Player of the Year.

His first year in Los Angeles was underwhelming as he only had 8.0 sacks. However, he bounced back in a major way in 2023. He finished fourth in the NFL with 17.o sacks, including a 6.0 sack game against the Raiders.

Mack proved in 2023 that he still has plenty left in the tank and can be one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. He’s also played 17 games in back-t0-back seasons so he’s staying healthy. Though he’s not going to get a massive contract in free agency, he’s likely set himself up for a solid payday.

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