Khalil Mack didn’t show up Monday for the start of Raiders offseason workouts.
NFL Network reported that fact shortly after the first day of school started in Alameda, but that doesn’t mean Mack’s getting a demerit.
These workouts are voluntary. There’s no punishment for a no show.
Mack isn’t playing hooky out of sloth or spite.
The elite edge rusher and former NFL defensive player of the year hasn't come out and said so, but Mack seems to be making a simple request: pay me what I deserve.
The Raiders have plans to do exactly that. A massive, likely market-setting, contract extension is expected at some point. General manager Reggie McKenzie has budgeted for it. He is not afraid to pay someone with Mack’s talent, character and work ethic top dollar.
Massive deals take time. There’s plenty left, leaving zero cause for concern about Mack skipping some voluntary offseason strength and conditioning workouts. The Silver and Black would like to get a new deal done this offseason, before training camp begins. Sources say that’s a fair expectation, though there’s significant work left to reach an agreement.
Mack has $13.846 million fully guaranteed for the 2018 season under a fifth-year option. That’s the last part of his rookie deal.
The Raiders plan to employ Mack for long, long time. The sides have discussed parameters of a new contract. There’s no pact and no set timetable to reach one, but there is a strong desire from player and team to get one done.
Mack waited patiently while quarterback Derek Carr and right guard Gabe Jackson got paid last June and July, respectively. The fifth-year option allowed the Raiders to push Mack back a year without consequence, but it’s his turn now. And his price has gone up.
The Raiders still have more power in these situations, as all NFL teams do, with franchise tags at their disposal to keep Mack without a long-term pact. They can fine him for missing a mandatory June minicamp and training camp sessions this summer. They can’t do a thing about him skipping most of this voluntary offseason program.
That leaves this as the time Mack can exercise a bit of leverage and express his desire to expedite a long-term deal without recourse, with actions over words.
Mack is a tireless worker and a team leader. It’s obvious to say he doesn’t want to miss any time with teammates or a new coaching staff.
It’s uncertain at this stage if Mack will show up at any point in the offseason program without a new deal. His agent, Joel Segal, has held players out of offseason programs before. He also has a history of getting massive contracts for talented clients.
Just a thought: Maybe he shouldn’t show without a new deal. Freak injuries happen in spring workouts. Mack is owed nothing beyond this year and certainly deserves to rank among the NFL’s highest-paid defensive players, with all the guaranteed funds that come with the designation.
Again, the Raiders are prepared to put him in that class. They’ll continue pushing to do so as this offseason progresses, hoping to reach an accord with their defensive star.