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Could the Green Bay Packers Really Trade for Khalil Mack?

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Could the Green Bay Packers Really Trade for Khalil Mack?

Khalil Mack's holdout from training camp has certainly made headlines over the last two weeks causing many to question whether Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie would realistically consider parting with his all-pro defender.  Mack is seeking a new contract heading into his fifth season, and the Raiders for the moment seem reluctant to extend him.  All of the ingredients seem to be in place for a lengthy standstill between Mack and the Raiders which leaves the question open to whether the Raiders would actually consider trading him.

This speculation was heated up this week when news surfaced that Mack could be a potential trade candidate since there was little to no progress being made on his contract extension.  This news, as it always does, caught the attention of Packers fans nationwide because of the relationship of the Raiders and Packers front office personnel coupled with the fact that the Packers have a tremendous amount of draft capital to offer in a potential trade involving Mack.  Brian Gutekunst did little to extinguish any of the Khalil Mack to the Packers trade speculation when he spoke of his friendship with Raiders General Manager Reggie Mckenzie and said that he is open to conversations with other teams and that he and Reggie are "...going to kind of have conversations about everything..."

Gutekunst's response to the Khalil Mack speculation leads me to ask a two-part question, one, is Mack worth the cost both in draft picks and money that it will cost to sign him and two, is there a realistic chance that a deal of this magnitude could happen?

Is Khalil Mack Worth the Cost?

First, it is important to highlight what the cost to acquire Khalil Mack would be if the Raiders were intent on trading him.  I believe that the Raiders should open the conversation by asking for both of the Packers 2019 first round picks as well as their 2020 first round pick.  If this opening offer seems too steep for the all-pro outside linebacker, let us consider the accolades that he has already achieved in his four-year career.  Mack has been selected to three pro bowls, he has two first team all-pro selections, he was the AP Defensive player of the year in 2016, and was named an all-pro at both defensive end as well as outside linebacker in 2015.  From this standpoint, it is essential for the Raiders to bring back top value for Mack if they do in fact decide to trade him.

In addition to Mack's accolades, he would provide the Packers with a versatile skill set that would allow him to make an instant impact as a pass rusher, a run stopper, and a viable option to help in pass coverage at the linebacker position.  Mack's historic season in 2015 shows that he can be thrust into action at multiple positions and can thrive under multiple schemes.  Mike Pettine would be able to deploy Mack in multiple packages and feel confident that he will be the best player on the field and turn the Packers defense into a championship caliber unit.

A championship caliber defense? Yes, acquiring Khalil Mack would make the Packers a championship caliber defense.   How, might you ask? Green Bay's defensive front of Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, and Mohammed Wilkerson will be able to provide penetration against opponents offensive lines from the time that the ball is snapped.  This will allow Mike Pettine to dial up blitzes for Mack in which he would receive more unimpeded rushing lanes to the quarterback, which would allow him to make more impact plays.  This defensive approach will disrupt the timing of opposing offenses and allow the secondary to make more plays on rushed passing attempts.

It is evident that Khalil Mack is worth the cost in draft picks and money that he demands from a talent standpoint, but would it be a fiscally responsible decision for the Packers to acquire him.  The reality is that it is never a fiscally responsible decision to acquire a player that will demand the salary allocation and draft capital that Mack demands.  However, it could certainly be worth the tremendous cost from a revenue standpoint if it gives the Packers a three to five-year window to legitimately contend for a super bowl during the final stretch of Aaron Rodgers career.

Detractors of making a deal of this magnitude will say that there is no need for Khalil Mack when the Packers can draft and develop each and every year.  These detractors will also say that they are proven correct in their philosophy to draft and develop because of the Packers recent playoff streak which lasted for eight seasons (2009-2016).  Certainly there is a lot to say for being able to draft and develop eight straight playoff teams, but, is it possible that if the Packers signed a few more free agents or converted their draft capital into a few more impact players via trades, that we could be reflecting upon a run that would be closing in on ten straight playoff appearances, winning three super bowls?  

Let me be clear, nothing in the NFL is guaranteed, however, there have been years during the Packers playoff runs where it seemed as if the team was lacking one major piece that would have gotten them over the mountaintop. Khalil Mack is certainly a player who can single-handedly change the trajectory of a franchise with his play and can be that difference maker that can get a team over the mountaintop.      

For these reasons, I believe that the Packers should enter into serious negotiations with the Raiders if Mack is indeed on the trade block.  I believe that the timing and the circumstances of where both teams are at with their respective franchises could be conducive towards a potential trade match.  The Packers could use Khalil Mack's salary demands as leverage to drive Oakland to lessen their demands in order for a resolution to take place.  Conversely, Oakland could use Green Bay's need for an impactful and versatile edge rusher in an attempt to lure away both of their 2019 first round draft selections.    

If both sides are willing to compromise in certain areas I could see the Packers spending one or both of their 2019 first round draft picks in a trade for Mack.  That is obviously a very steep asking price but I believe that the combination of physical talent and production that Khalil Mack could give the Packers over a three to five year period will likely outweigh the production of the first round draft prospects from next season's class.

Packers Most Logical Scenario to Acquire Khalil Mack:

1. Finalize Aaron Rodgers contract extension which could clear as much as $15 million in cap space from upfront money.

2. Offer the 2019 first and second round selections in a trade proposal for Khalil Mack and prepare to potentially have to part with both 2019 first round picks in order to obtain his services from the Raiders.

3. Sign Mack to a longterm contract similar to Aaron Rodgers that will have a lot of upfront money to offset the initial cap hit from his first year's salary.

4. Prepare to let Clay Matthews leave in free agency after this season to free up an extra $11.5 million per season.       





David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (109) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Colin_C's picture

I agree with your thoughts 100% David. IMO, Mack is a top 3 defensive player in the league right now. No way a draft pick(s) from next year will reach that level. Even if they did, it would take several years most likely to develop. Rookie seasons like Mack's (15 sacks) are shockingly rare. I'm rolling with Mack over two 1st rounders every time. Here's my three keys to this actually happening (unlikely as it is).

1. Mack legitimately doesn't get along with Gruden. If there is tension between the two, then that plays into our hand.
2. The Raiders have to let us talk to his agent before a trade can happen. Otherwise, you just swap places with the Raiders right now, sans two first rounders.
3. Gruden actively pushes for a rebuild of the roster with players he wants. If he wants to overhaul the team, floating 2 first rounders would give him a lot of draft capital to work with.

Also, not really a legitimate reason, but the fact that our two FO's have connection could swing in our favor a bit verses some random AFC team.

Like I said, I doubt this happens, but would be absolutely thrilled if it does.

GBPDAN1's picture

Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller is now the NFL's highest-paid defensive player, thanks to a six-year, $114.5 million contract that includes nearly $70 million in guarantees.

Mack will want this amount or more. I have no problem giving up our 2 first round picks next year as our original pick will be at the end of the round with Mack on our team (hopefully pick 32) and our N.O. pick will be later then pick 24.

The problem is giving one single player that much guaranteed money. If he gets hurt or under performs, it would be costly. I still think it would be worth it due to the upside of having a dominant OLB playing next to our powerful D-line.

This would cause fits for the opposing QB and our run D would be that much stronger. Let's get Rodgers more rings and this type of move would help greatly.

Bearmeat's picture

Much must be risked in war, Daniel-Son. ;)

Look, if you want blue-chip talent, you have to pay for it. The draft is a crapshoot - it's the best resource, but to get us over the top with our already good roster....

Lare's picture

If this were to happen I would try to shed some salary by including either Matthews or Perry in the deal. That would give Oakland something of a replacement and also give the Packers some salary flexibility to sign Mack to a long term contract.

Bearmeat's picture

Would love that, but it's not likely OAK would want either of those deals. CM3 is almost done with his deal, but he's old and hasn't produced. Perry is younger and has a higher ceiling, but is always hurt and that deal is an albatross for his production throughout his career - except for his contract year in 2015. Ugh.

It's just not likely a deal can be struck.

Bearmeat's picture


Mack would turn this year into Lombardi conversation. It would make us the favorites, and deservedly so. Right now, we are among a handful of "maybe's" Maybe our defense turns into a top 12 unit. Maybe the young WRs step up and maybe the young OLBs step up and maybe the young CBs step up.

Mack makes all of those things less important. He makes up for some lack of talent elsewhere. He is in the top 5 best players in the NFL at the 2nd most important position.

I'd think the conversation would start with 2 1st round picks as well. Perhaps we could turn that into a 1st round pick, Perry and a 3rd round pick. Or maybe CM3. Regardless, if it takes 2 1st round picks and a 3rd round pick and a 5 year, 100 million contract, you do that every day with ARod in the fold for up to 4 more years if you want.

Yeah, losing 2 1st round picks would hurt, but think about it, how many impact players are in the NFL at Mack's position in any given year. Maybe 3 or 4? At most. And this is our worst position on the team at the 2nd most important spot after QB.

Let's also not forget that Mark Davis is literally the poorest owner in the league by a long shot and that he is in the worst stadium (least local revenue generation) in the NFL too. That doesn't mean he's poor to normal standards, but paying an athlete a 35 million dollar signing bonus actually makes a dent in his wallet. This is not the case with the Packers, who almost literally print money in WI.

Make. It. Happen. Gute.

porupack's picture

Case against #1:
Reference to your logic that the Clark/Wilkerson/Daniels Dline penetration opens up:
<<This will allow Mike Pettine to dial up blitzes for Mack in which he would receive more unimpeded rushing lanes to the quarterback, which would allow him to make more impact plays.>>

Counter-logic: any reasonably fast OLB will do if there is unimpeded lane to the QB. Matthews is more than adequate, Gilbert/Fackerall, well can get to QB if unimpeded.

Case #2

All draft picks are a roll of the dice, and high picks are no guarantees of a high impact player. But 3 first rounders? That's a 33% chance of landing another youthful khalil mack type. I would take that odds, and know that the other two percentage-wise, would be decent, if not really good.

Case #3

Sure, on paper another stud in the front 7 could make the difference of a contender/non contender. However, I'd argue that that huge investment cost would be worthy at CB in most cases for a shutdown corner. Under some cases that scale of investment might be worthy at Tackle if that made a dominant line. But this year, with CB draftees, and considering above average talent in most position Not justified to mortgage 2-3 upcoming best draft capital in next 2 years for the marginal returnn of KMack. Go get 3 prospects and develop instead.

Case #4: Financial

Gute has done a good job pulling GB out of the cap stress from TT, since last 3 years of having to chuck emerging talent b/c of insufficient cap. Smart drafting, and getting undervalued FAs have paid off (most of the time). Buying premium stock is sure way to sink back into cycle of Draft&Develop&Release. Boo.

Lock in your own all-time QB and weapons and protection.

So....K'ill that.....

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Nobody knows whether Gute has drafted well. No one knows if Gute has acquired undervalued FAs. Graham probably isn't. Wilkerson might be. Twill might be. House? Maybe. I like Gute's draft and I generally approve of his FA moves.

Gute really hasn't done very many contracts. Two of the five main ones he is clearly responsible for are very back-loaded, though I concede by necessity. One is a cheap one year deal for House. One (Wilkerson) has loads of incentives about which we know little. Bell isn't looking like a good deal. I led the bandwagon to sign Marcedes Lewis the moment Jax released him. At $2.1M, he looks better than advertised.

I am wholly unwilling to anoint Gute as a good cap manager. I like his draft and most of his free agency moves, but we'll see about them. I so far really like Gute, but you sound like your opinion is fact. It isn't yet.

porupack's picture

yes. opinion indeed. Facts seem under rated these days anyway.
As to the opinion, building a high number of picks (in part thanks to TT) means you have more players at rookie wage, and thus you already have embarked on a strategy that manages the cap. That, plus not signing expensive FAs equal 2 parts of a strategy.
If as you suggest, some of those turn out to be poor returns (even on what seems like bargain salaries), it can still be a sound strategy even if in the short term, some don't work out.
As you say, all will be known some day. I'll check back with ya in couple years on this.

Qoojo's picture

If it happens, I can see Capers going "Wtf?! Are you kidding me!"

As mentioned, no way the packers would pull the trigger without working out a deal beforehand, so Raiders would need to give permission to for packers to speak with him. I think Mack is worth a lot of draft capital. I think in order to do it financially, Matthews has to leave, but I really do not know what it would take financially.

I personally would give up any two draft picks next year for him. Draft picks are a dice roll, so why not go with a known sure performer.

Bearmeat's picture

First of all, who cares what Capers thinks. He helped get us a Super Bowl, but he is no longer a Packers coach.

Second, there's a new GM. So Capers probably would understand that things have changed around here. He's been around long enough to know how the game is played.

Third, I agree with your last two statements. :)

Hawg Hanner's picture

How about trading Clay Matthews, ( if they can contractually) and a first rounder, possibly a 3rd rounder.

kevgk's picture

3 First rounders seems way too high, even for Mack. 2 firsts I can see. A first, a second, and a future second maybe. I can't imagine someone like Gutekunst giving up that kind of draft capital for only one player. The fact that he wants to get paid immediately especially.
Mack wants to get paid this year despite the Raiders having no cap space, but they also open up into plenty of cap space to pay him next year. Him getting paid would require them to cut players to make space, likely some of their expensive linemen. I could see them trading him just to get value instead of letting him become a free agent and having to match whatever the market throws at him.
But are the Packers in position to accept him? With only 10 million in cap space, they have to find some room for him somewhere. They could restructure Rodgers contract to open up space, but that means they would have to do it immediately just to get Mack to come to camp. Why would they have even been working on freeing cap space with his contract this year, when FA is already over, and pushing a huge cap hit until later makes it harder to manage future contracts? That puts them in a tough situation to get the deal done under pressure, AND Mack's deal done immediately too. They have the incentive to load up as much cap hit this year so next year they can sign free agents with a predictable cap amount, and not blow their cap space next year when their poised for a Superbowl run. The other alternative is to push Rodgers contract back, and cut somebody this year to afford Mack. Who would they cut? They don't have enough depth at Oline or WR to cut starters. Mack would be an immediate upgrade over Perry or CM3, but upgrading one of the two starters still leaves them with poor depth. Maybe they could get Perry, Cobb, and CM3 to restructure? But good luck with that in any timely manner. They probably need to free up 10 million to have 5 million left over after the 90 man roster trim, and churn practice squaders or agents throughout the season.
I hope Gute can pull it off. Every Packers Superbowl run came off the back of a Hall of Famer on defense. I'm afraid it would be quite a messy contract scenario though and the Packers aren't in a situation for more messy contract scenarios with both Rodgers extension looming and several veterans looking for a contract next year. After that they have to start paying current rookies too.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I don't agree. Oakland has more than enough cap space to extend Mack. True, Oakland only has $2.26M per OTC and $4.7M per Sportrac in cap space, but that's because Mack counts $13.85M against their cap. If he gets $20M, his first-year cap hit should be less than $13.85M. Signing Mack should free up cap space for Oakland in 2018. Oakland has $45M in cap space but also has 23 UFAs in 2019, few front-line types, but lots of lower-middle-class types. I've run Oakland's salary cap from OTC and Sportrac on my own spreadsheet.

If Oakland can't extend Mack and simultaneously increase its cap space, then Mack might want more than Oakland can fit under their current cap space. Who can say what Mack might think about signing with GB. He might love it (chance for a super bowl win - something that Oakland is just a pretender) or he might disfavor it due to cold, small city, etc.

kevgk's picture

I certainly think GB has the situation players of Mack's caliber look for: Superbowl contention, and all time fame in one of the biggest franchises in the NFL. It just comes down to would GB be able to find the cap space to sign him this year, or would he play based off faith of a large contract coming next year?

Tarynfor12's picture

But we now have the DL can will make Matthews young again and Perry what he's never been 6 years and running.
Two 1st rd picks next draft that could redefine the team and some want to give that and more away for one player. Who might likely only be a one year player in GB. Who may increase the chances of a SB this season a lot, but a departure after one,if obtained, would leave us worst off long term as he is gone and with him also the draft capital we have been crying over not having for years.
It would seem that many are willing to believe that one more SB with Rodgers is enough. It isn't, and unless a muti year deal is made with Mack, losing the draft capital for a one year decrease in odds against making a SB, does nobody any favors for the years Rodgers has in GB. We'll be without Mack,Matthews, no draft top or1st rd picks and only Perry and a worthless contract to achieve what would be near guaranteed to not happen again with Rodgers in GB.
I would love for Mack to be a Packer but unless it's for more than a year, the asking price is just too much... possibly 2-3 1st rd picks.
One year Mack- No, to much cost
Muti year Mack-go all in

LayingTheLawe's picture

Your snarkiness with the continual comments that if the Packers win the fans will somehow not expect them to win again aside...the gist of the comment is exactly correct. Unless a trade comes with a long term contract for Mack to stay in GreenBay it is folly.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

The DL helps CM3 a lot. It doesn't help Perry nearly as much: he can get to the QB on his own. Aside from that, I'd say your post is spot on. I agree that many fans would settle for/be happy with one more Super Bowl win. Not a few would deem 5 divisional round playoff games acceptable, or even a bit less.

Colin_C's picture

Agreed that you have to get him on a long term deal. Only way that it's worth the price he'll command.

Handsback's picture

Am I reading this right? Both 1st round picks and maybe the second for the rights to negotiate for Mack? Then pay him 15M this year and 11-12M for the next few years and letting CMIII go? I would be OK for one of the first and a second, but not both first. If the salary cap fits...I have no isssues with his cap hit. My only problem would be the multiple 1st round draft picks.

Bearmeat's picture

That's the going price for an edge rusher of his caliber. If OAK lets him go, it won't be for less than 2 1sts. :(

So you have to ask yourself - do I want a proven player RIGHT NOW with ARod at 35? Or do I want to draft a couple next year and hope one of them hits by the time ARod is 37.

I take Mack. :)

Jonathan Spader's picture

What makes you think it takes 2 1st round picks for Mack? The Patriots got Jonathan Cooper and a 2nd round pick for Chandler Jones from the Cadinals. I'll give up Spriggs and a 2nd round or the Saint's 1st round for Mack.

Bearmeat's picture

Cause Mack is better than Chandler Jones.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Kahlil Mack 2017 stats: - Tackles 78, Assisted Tackles - 17, Sacks - 10.5

Chandler Jones 2017 stats: Tackles - 59, Assisted Tackles - 7, Sacks - 17

Since Mack has been in the league Jones has 46.5 sacks Mack has 40.5. Mack has a lot more tackles than Jones does but I don't think the 2 players are as far apart talent wise as you might think.

You have yet to show me a single example of a pass rush player in their prime being traded. I used Jones as an example because it's the most recent example of it happening. I don't think getting Mack to GB would require the kind of draft capital people are talking about. I also don't see it happening but man would it be awesome if it did.

Mojo's picture

"Let me be clear, nothing in the NFL is guaranteed, "

Uhmm, large parts of big-name contracts are. He most likely would want to exceed Von Millers $70 mil in guarantees. Good luck fitting that in with ARods extension. And is Mack going to as motivated after getting paid?

One blown knee and throw that contract down the toilet. Your cap is f'd and after losing 2 to 3 1st rounders so are chances in finding impact players in the draft for the near future.

There's no guarantee that acquiring Mack by itself will make the GB a top defense. The Raiders with Mack playing all 16 games finished 20th in defense last year.

If Gutey pulled off the trade as described above, I would be pissed, really pissed. What helps a team win a championship more than anything else right now is holding top-notch players on their rookie contracts (mostly QB's) paying them low relative $'s and supplementing the squad around them with talent that you can now afford to obtain.

Two or three ones and a kings ransom. F that.


stockholder's picture

Way to stir the pot! Insane! Look what happen to SUH. If the packers pull off this trade. They will never be a super-bowl winner again! Have another China doll on the team. And it would be the worst trade since John Hadl!

Colin_C's picture

Ah yes, signing one dominant player to a 5 year deal will instantly sink the team for decades to come....
Good grief. Oh, and by China doll I assume you mean injury prone? I'm pretty sure he's missed 1 game in 4 years. Can't get much healthier than that.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Is there any factual basis for suggesting that Mack is a China doll? He has never missed a game in his entire NFL career.

89.5% of snaps (931 plus 85 STs) in 2017.
90.5% of snaps (949 plus 76 STs) in 2016.
87.1% of snaps (1004 + 89 STs) in 2015.
89.0% of snaps (994 + 101 ST snaps - 20% of STs!) in 2014 as a rookie.

Colin_C's picture

This. I looked, and the one game his missed due to injury was the pro bowl.

stockholder's picture

No - But lets look at what a 5 year contract does. Mack is 27 1/2. 5 Years @ $$$$ sticks him in his 30s. Would you have traded CMIII in his first 4 years. No one would have. And now that he's in his 30s. His contract per play time has people screaming he's done. Truth is, Mathews still has better career stats. (In same time frame) And IMO if mack played in the colder weather like GB, he'd slow down. And he didn't play for Capers. So Compare CMIII to Mack. WE all see once most players get the big $$$$ over 30, it's a buyer beware. We all see how players slow. ( Even Peppers) And IMO CMIII still will have better stats than Perry this year. Lets look at GBs top 5 stars the last 4 years. Nelson Hurt, now gone. Perry IR foot again. Cobb IR off and on. A-rod broken collar bone. CmIII Hammy etc. The top 5 paid players were on a China Doll list. And If you put Mack in GB. Nothing is a sure thing when so many youngsters still get season ending injuries.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Reggie White was 31 when GB signed him to a massive contract. By your standard you would not have signed White. Since any player might have a season-ending injury, every player in the NFL is a China-doll. Every player on a 2nd contract might have a physical decline. I do think we have to consider how Mack might play in year 5 when he is 31.5 years old. Great players who are proven NFL stars get paid large amounts and come with greater risk. The GM who signs AR (another China-doll that we should think long and hard about signing to an even bigger contract ~~~) and signs Mack has hitched his wagon to those players, without a doubt. Character really matters with these players who have big money contracts.

stockholder's picture

Reggie White was a great player. He Didn't cost the packers their future. (Draft Picks.) He was a DL. Not LB. But the difference is GREATNESS. Not ordinary. Peppers did well. But did slow down. The peak of players is important here. (WINDOW) { Also as you state GREATER RISK.} TT let Favre go. If you use your example he would be worth the money. And They should have traded A-Rod first. But the value is like Favre vs Rodgers. It's better to play the youth, and not get caught up in players that can't live up to their contract. (Packers got LUCKY Here too.) A-Rod has Time on his contract yet. He's been hurt. Mack hasn't, but the position is one of many injuries. Could Mack be the inspiration Reggie White was. No. He'll take the $$$$ and live off his name. Mack was as advertised coming out college. But Reggie WHITE WAS an inspiration to everyone. He had a lot to prove and Free Agency was changing the NFL. Mack does not have the team on his mind. He has $$$$$$$ on it. No Thank you!

White92's picture

He's no Nick Perry :)

Lare's picture

That's a good thing. The Packers have one too many Nick Perry's as it is.

BigCheese2's picture

We have Nick Perry and Clay Matthews if we really want to talk about China dolls.

idgafkurt's picture

Mack could have a Reggie White-esque impact on this franchise and truly get them over-the-top. They need a superstar opposite Rodgers and the A-Rod window is closing. Make the move and trade the picks (I'd say 2, 1sts and a 2nd could do it).

I'm no Russ Ball but from the looks of it they can afford him after this season:

In 2019 this team doesn't have any players it desperately needs to resign. Clay, Cobb and HaHa can walk IMO if it means paying Mack. McCray as a OG won't cost much. Bulaga can be cut and free up 4 million. That gets them to nearly 40 million in cap room before Mack and A-Rod extension (he's counting for 21 mil already).

2020 - The only "bad" contact this team is carrying is Nick Perry, who they can get out of in 2020 and save 7 mil. Daniels is up in 2020 but will be 31 and if Clark emerges is expendable. Martinez is up and will probably need to be resigned but at avg ILB costs. The core outside Rodgers is under contract and they have 85 mil in cap space (clearly A Rod extension will take a good chunk, but even if it's 35 mil they have 50 mil for Mack, etc).

2021 - Some tough decisions here with some studs up but that is a long ways out and a lot can happen, but up until 2021 they don't have many tough decisions and can pay he and A Rod and have some flexibility.

Bearmeat's picture

Exactly. If you get the chance to go after a blue-chip talent, you do it, money and draft picks be damned. Especially when you have a 35 year old HOF QB.

stockholder's picture

The best Team money can buy, doesn't always win.

porupack's picture

Reggie White-esque bargain here?
I don't think they gave up any draft picks for Reggie White. Nor Julius peppers. MWilkerson. There is very good talent out there for smart shoppers, if patient for fire-sales.
Investors buy potential, and get rich if they have good evaluation and invest in enough options to offset some bad picks.
Buy low. Develop well. Keep the 3 1st round picks. No hesitation on that proposition.

LayingTheLawe's picture

Reggie White was a free agent pickup not a trade. I am all for a free agent pickup of this magnitude but a trade seems real far fetched unless it comes with a 5 or 6 year contract as part of it.

WinUSA's picture

Well, I remember when Reggie was on the market. There were several big name teams that wanted Reggie. I didn't think there was a chance that the "Frozen Tundra" team would get him. Then I was riding in the car, turned on the radio, and heard the news of Green Bay signing Reggie. I turned and looked at my wife and said: "This makes us Super Bowl bound!" Fast forwarding to today. First, Green Bay has not been lucky of late with injuries. To base an investment of this nature means rolling the dice. Does Gute have the Gahunza's to do that? Would it mean his job if that scenario happened? Okay, let's say he does. I highly doubt that he alone can or will make this decision. Their is absolutely no doubt that if we do get the Mack Truck it would be a game changer for sure. Just like Reggie. If he remains healthy, there would be so much money pouring
into GB that a bank would have to be built just to hold the loot!!!! Now, okay, we go for it. The cost? Two first round picks in '19. The Packers if Rodgers stays healthy will be in the top 7 teams. The pick from New Orleans will most probably be in the same area. These are slot positions that we have picked for a decade and we have NEVER hit on a Mack caliber player. Throw in a second too if that's what it takes. Reggie said "God told him to come to Green Bay" I sure the heck hope that he still is a Packer Fan! Go Pack!

Tarynfor12's picture

It still took GB 4 years to get to that SB...this move for Mack cannot be a 4 year wait as we'd be no better off with him. It's a great deal if the price and a long term deal is agreed upon. But he price being touted is too high for one season alone.

LayingTheLawe's picture

After hearing Roders vent about the rookie receivers, maybe the money should be spent on a veteran receiver. Not often you hear the term piss poor in a player comment about other players.

stockholder's picture

There is so much you can read into this. Is he having personal problems? Lovers spat, Contract, missing Nelson. I thought he'd be married in the Sistine chapel by now.

DD's picture

The real key is Mathhews and Perry. If the Pack think they can stay healthy, a big if, then maybe. I wouldn't personally give up three first round picks, maybe two?

Bearmeat's picture

3 is awful steep, even for Mack.

I'd do 2 though.

MITM's picture

The healthiest Clay has been more recently (and also most effective) was when he played inside. We need an ILB. Mack goes outside

BigCheese2's picture

We need to give Burks a chance at ILB. Jake Ryan couldn't cover any running back or tight-end. His first two steps regardless of run or pass was straight downhill. I think with some experience (in these first couple of preseason / regular season games) Burks will be an upgrade from Ryan.

MITM's picture

If a guy like Marcus Peters also on a rookie deal gets sent away for a 3 and a 5, theres no way 2 firsts in the same draft wouldnt be enough, along with maybe a player. A top corner is just as valuable if not more valuable (depending on who you ask) than a top pass rusher.

2019 draft class is loaded w pass rushers Gruden can take in the hope of replacing Mack for way cheaper. Having 3 first round picks in year 2 of being back sounds like an offer Jon couldnt refuse.

Jonathan Spader's picture

If the 2019 class is filled with pass rushers than why wouldn't the Packers save their 2 1st round picks and draft 1 or 2 of them?

Colin_C's picture

They most likely will, but the reasons to not are:
1. It's unlikely anyone they draft will reach Mack's level of play.
2. Even if they did, it would most likely take several years. Rodgers isn't getting any younger.

MITM's picture

Rookie OLB with no NFL experience vs NFL All Pro and DPOY you tell me

stockholder's picture

The NFL has a Tag rule. Why didn't Oakland use it on such a great Player?

dobber's picture

Because his contract hasn't expired.

marpag1's picture


Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Top corners hit FA. Pass rushing OLBs don't. Ever.

Three firsts is much too high for Mack. Even two first-round picks sounds high to me. Perhaps if we got a second rounder back. Maybe one first and Perry. Or CM3 or a surprise player. Hard to assess the draft pick and money issue without knowing the terms. Two probably late in the first round picks isn't wholly unreasonable. It depends on how nasty things have gotten in Oakland. As of August 4, the Oakland blog said no progress.

Otherwise, Colin C is not wrong. It is risky. So is AR's contract extension, probably.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I'd be fine with trading for Mack and it's cost in draft picks and $. All of those picks will be low first round, and the cap is going to go up 10-13 million per year. Let me ask another question? How much do we pay for mediocre players like Matthews and Perry?

porupack's picture

Or....just trade both first rounders to get to top of 2st round if you want to nail a higher probability, team-changing talent (but I think that is foolish too, since it appears there is a strong OLB/DE class in 2019). But at least you'd still preserve a 2020 first rounder, and ton of money for other FA plug- n- pla-yas.

I would rather advocate for more aggressive FA acquisition and player trades as we saw this year...., certainly never give up more than 1:1 high round draft picks even if Lebron was interested.

porupack's picture

correction; get to top of 1st round if you.....

Demon's picture

Could we trade Hundley for Khalil Mack?

Tarynfor12's picture

He does have 3 years of schooling by MM so that should compensate/placate the asking price by the Raiders somewhat.

Demon's picture

I would even be willing to throw in my broken tv to help sweeten the pot.

My remote was thrown at the tv with more force and accuracy than any ball Hundley threw last season.

Colin_C's picture

Too bad we didn't resign Janis. Could have netted us Donald and Mack probably. The Rams and Raiders would just alternate each week who got to play him. Shame :-)

Tarynfor12's picture

Based on actual plays made...Janis is by far more valuable than Hundley even though there are some who thought Hundley a possible two 1st rd pick talent. Let's hope Hundley dazzles Thursday and we can make a swap for Mack.

Demon's picture

Oh god thats good!! You outdid me colin

LayingTheLawe's picture

It would be 2 first round picks for Mack. If you add in Hundley then its 3 first round picks to make up for saddling them with him.

Handsback's picture

Remember we are talking about an upgrade. You have to determine what that upgrade difference is? Example, CMIII does 13 sack and 20 pressure and Perry does 12 sacks and 22 pressures. Mack comes in and does 16 sacks and 25 pressures. What are you willing to pay for 5-8 extra sacks and 5-10 extra pressures? That's why I say only 1-1st round and 2nd round picks. Also, 70M would be out of range. He could go to the Browns!!!

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Good point. Football outsiders credits Mack with 50 hurries in 2016. I can't find 2017. Football outsiders credits Perry with 23.5, and CM3 with 23.5 in 2017.

Sporting Charts: Mack 25, Perry 17, CM3 15 in 2016.
Sporting charts: Mack 34; CM3 21; Perry 8 in 2015
Sporting Charts: Mack 22; CM3 8; Perry 4 in 2014.
No stats for 2017 yet.

Perry played 15 games in 2014, and 14 games in 2015 and 14 games in 2016. We know that Mack spent time as an LB and as a DE.

What does this mean? I will let each decide. I am not sure exactly how good Mack is. I've only watched one game I think. Oakland has little defensive talent. Terrible pass D. Oakland was 29th in pressure rate in 2017 per FO. Sounds to me like Oakland's pressure began and ended with Mack.

A Pickled Packer's picture

Quite enticing to go for this guy Mack but we have guys ready to make a name for themselves and a leader and motivator in Pettine who can make that happen. Why go for the gusto at this point and trade away all that draft capital and put yourself in a finacial hole besides. The significant trades to make this team better have been made. Coach these guys up and see how preseason pans out. If the defense is lights out you won't need Mack. Sit and wait for a great deal, let Oakland and Mack sweat before we get knifed. It's their problem.

Kb999's picture

Hell yes, sign Mack. The clock is running out with this bunch of guys. We're not getting any younger. Arod isn't going to be around forever. The time is now. Maybe not 3 first rounders, but be creative BRIAN G and make a deal.

Bure9620's picture

No. Mack wants Von Miller money and we need to extend Rodgers and the Packers are not paying him that...its not happening.....2 first rounders?? No, Randy Moss just said C'mon Maaaan!!!

Kb999's picture

You get what you pay for. You want to win spend the money. I don't want to hear any of this development BS . The window to win with this personal is closing. Let's see what this new GM can do. Randy (bs) Moss, c'mon Man.

4thand1's picture

Can you say cap hell for years to come? Also giving up high draft picks. These are the type of deals perennial losing franchises make. Trade Perry and cut the cap hit in half and maybe save some high draft picks.

Bure9620's picture

Agreed, not doable at all

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

GB would have to wave goodbye to CM3, Cobb, Wilkerson, and HHCD. Still could do some filling in, so we could keep a couple of Lewis types.

Mack easily replaces CM3.
Can a rookie replace Cobb in 2019?
Can M. Adams take Wilkerson's place? Lowry?
No replacement that I see for HHCD on the roster.

Agreed: We would have very little agility available in cap management.

Since &#039;61's picture

I would love to get Mack but the price is too high and probably for too long. This team needs to draft some offense next season and needs at least one of those 2 first round picks to get a difference maker WR.

Plus if the Packers trade for Mack and pay him what he is probably looking for they will be take up a ton of cap space on just 2 players (Rodgers and Mack).

2 first rounders plus a multi-year high cost guaranteed contract is too much. Keep the draft picks and maybe see if he can be signed as an FA after this season.

Yes, the draft is a crap shoot but it doesn't kill your cap. Also, you can sign a number of tier 2 or tier 3 FAs who can contribute to a few position groups for the $$$ you would pay Mack over the next 4-5 seasons.

I would rather trade CM3 and/or Perry and even throw in Hundley or Allison or Trevor Davis for Mack. However, McKenzie would never go for it and he shouldn't. If I'm Gute I am standing pat. Sometimes the best deal is the one that you don't make.
Thanks, Since '61

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I don't know if folks here realize how good Mack is. Remember when Von Miller single handedly won the Super Bowl? better than Von Miller. Mack is Reggie White good.

MITM's picture

No youre, right i agree - I dont think some people realize it.

As far as the how to pay him goes, has anybody seen the contracts the Vikings have been churning out the past 2+ offseasons? Hunter Griffen Smith Rhodes Diggs Kendricks Cousins Richardson( 1 year i know) Rudolph. Most of these guys are making top 5, top 3, even the MOST money at their positions. We could figure out how to pay Mack and Rodgers i would imagine would accomodate the signing with dollars and language in his contract because he wants to WIN.

Nick Perry's picture

I was one who thought they'd NEVER get all of those contracts done. Anthony Barr is the only one who hasn't signed and I have to wonder if they'll even try. Next year the Vikings are already a NEGATIVE $5.7 million in cap space and about $12 million of space in 2020.

We saw with Jordy how quickly a team can gain some space to tweak a roster with just one cut. BUT the Queens are married to all of those guys for the most past for the next several years including a QB who has a losing record. I hate the Vikings and its impossible for me to give them kudos but DAMN....

MITM's picture

And im sure they will find a way to pay Barr also. I agree with you, I did not expect them to be able to sign Cousins and then afterward throw truckloads of money at Kendricks, Hunter and Diggs in the same offseason. Also give Richardson a 1 year deal. Forgot to mention Linval Joseph too who came over as a FA a couple of years ago on a big deal as well.

Ligaya Barlow's picture

Exactly. We need an allpro defender to complement Rogers just as Favre needed a White. Simple.

Demon's picture

Although I've not seen much of Mack, thats a pretty heft comparison you just made. Reggie White was a once in a lifetime player. The level of dominance he displayed, these old eyes have never seen before. I've had the pleasure of witnessing many of the all time greats. L.T., Mean Joe Green, Bruce Smith, Deacon Jones, Alan Paige, Merlin olson none of them compare to Reggie!

jeremyjjbrown's picture

If that was definative White would have won a SuperBowl in Philly and a 2nd in GB. I love the Green and Gold Glasses and Reggie is an all time great, but let's not make him out to be something he's not.

Demon's picture

My glasses are far from green and gold. In my eyes therehas never been a more dominating D lineman. If there was i've never seen him.

Samson's picture

Give 'em a 1st, a 2nd and CM3 (if they'll take him).
Then look for the Pack in the NFC Championship game in 2018.

Do nothing and a playoff spot is again dependent completely on the health & play of AR. --- It's called the same 'ol $hit.

Community Guy's picture

D O N T mortgage the future for the shiny toy in the window.. learn from history:

Ligaya Barlow's picture

The article is a little zany. There's no need to let Clay go. The Raiders want Hunley for a low draft pick and the Packers need Mack. A simple deal.

PAPackerbacker's picture

If it is realistic of the asking price for Mack, then IMO it is to high. Keep the future draft picks and the huge salary he will demand. There is talk fo trading quality players for his services along with future draft picks because of past injuries to these quality players. There's no guarantee that Mack would not become an injured player once he signs a huge deal. Keep what the Packers have and draft for the future. Go! Pack! Go!

croatpackfan's picture

I say no.

You'll gave big draft capital, high contract with lot of guaranteed money and he will have career end injury. Where are you?

I say no.

Of course if Gutekunst can get Khalil under acceptable conditions, than yes. Let's say 1 first rounder 2019 and at Packers level best OLB contract...

And to remind all of you who spit on the draft - Khalil was drafted by Oakland!

jgando12's picture

THIS has been a great thread of insightful and accurate perspective from a bevy of knowledgeable and compassionate Packer fans. Wow. If I may offer my two cents: A) I agree that it will not take more than a 1st and another round (2-3rd) to get him. We will not have to give up two's pretty unprecedented.

B) Only worth it if it's long term deal
C) Matthews over Perry, any day, any deal
D) Mack wants what all players want..a chance for a RING..he would have the chance for a few with us.

Kb999's picture

They should have taken an edge in round 1 instead of Alexander. They wouldn't be in this mess today.

dobber's picture

Tell us who this sure-fire, immediate contributor the Packers passed up on would have been.

Jonathan Spader's picture

I don't think there's anything that's surefire in the NFL. Bradley Chubb is the closest thing in the 2018 draft and the Packers would have needed the 5th pick to get him. The Packers could have had Davenport or Landry with the 14th pick. I prefer having the Saint's 1st round pick and Alexander.

I wish Landry was still on the board with the 45th pick when we grabbed Jackson. Titans grabbed him with the 41st pick. It'll be interesting seeing him against the Packers tonight.

Kb999's picture

They should have taken an edge in round 1 instead of Alexander. They wouldn't be in this mess today.

Donster's picture

First rounder next year. First rounder the following year and toss in Perry. Pack would still have a first rounder next year. You can move CMIII inside for depth. Mack would be a big addition with our current defensive line. Ball can make this work and sign Rodgers. I think Murphy would be the one that would hang things up.

dobber's picture

" I think Murphy would be the one that would hang things up."

Why do people say things like this?

When has Murphy ever stepped in and prevented any kind of player acquisition?...confirmed, not just wild-ass rumors and conspiracy theories?

tincada's picture

We'll never ever know.

Donster's picture

I never said Murphy ever did hang up a player acquisition. I am saying he would be the one, since MM and Gute report to him now. He is the guy in the position to do it. Doesn't mean he would.

And there is no way either you or I know what possible influence Murphy has had on any player decision. Not everything that happens in the organization makes it to the media/public. We do not work for the Packers.

Spock's picture

IMHO, if it would take that type of draft capitol away from GB for the next two years no player is worth the risk. The point someone made about Reggie White being a FA pickup vs. a trade is important. Same with Peppers. A GM has to watch out for the future as well as the present. A lot of commentors have stated that they expect GB to be one year away because of all the changes in coaches and players. Maybe Mack would tip the balance this year/maybe not. I still like our chances this year but don't see Gute risking his career at GM with this kind of move unless he could pull off some sort of smoking crazy "steal the lunch money" deal with Oakland. I just don't see this realistically happening.

Guam's picture

Just a note on a long term contract for Mack. The cap has been increasing about $10 million per year for some time due to escalating television revenues. The current NFL television contracts run though 2022 and the cap should escalate through then. However the cap may reverse course after 2022.

NFL viewership has fallen almost 19% since 2015 and the television networks will not continue to pay the current rates for viewership that has dropped that much. Either the NFL fixes this problem by 2022 or the television contracts will likely be significantly smaller after 2022. And the cap will drop correspondingly.

I would not be signing any large deals that extend beyond 2022 at this point because the risk could be substantial, particularly if the ratings slide worsens. This only provides a four year window for a deal with Mack (2019-2022) after this year, the fifth of his rookie deal.

I suspect this is one of the hang-ups Mack has with the Raiders. He may want a longer deal and they may be unwilling to give him a deal beyond 2022 particularly since the Raiders are one of the least wealthy teams in the league.

tincada's picture

And how much did the Organization's take home climb last year? $5 million plus? Don't give me the cupboard is bare line.

bresem's picture

I personally feel trading for Mack would be well worth the risk. If we can get him on our roster it will have a dramatic impact and could instantly make us a serious contender for the Superbowl.

Unlike many teams that are interested in Mack, we not only have the cap space for him, but we have two first round picks to offer. As many people say, the draft is a gamble and you are never guaranteed to land a superstar. It would be best to offer those picks in order to receive a guy who is already an established superstar.

As for what we might have to give up, I believe we should offer the first two picks and Perry. With the first two picks, we are most likely going to draft a pass rusher anyway, so we should just get a guy that is already lights out. We would need to offer another OLB for Mack so that is where Perry would come into play.

Yes, Clay Matthews stats seemingly worsen each year, but you have to take into consideration that other teams recognize that he is our best LB so they are going to double and sometimes triple team. If you bring Mack into the lineup, teams will have to worry about two OLBs that can disrupt the offense. Matthews would be freed from the pressure and be able to do what he does best, which is tearing up the other team's offense.

Overall, I believe trading for Mack would make Gute look great in his first year, and perhaps it would also come with a ring as an added bonus.

Similis's picture

3 first round picks is obviously absurd for anyone other than a QB. With that said, if they can get him for something realistic (1 this year and 1 next year for Mack and a later pick in return) then I'd be all for it.

The odds of 1st round picks turning into All-Pro's is definitely less than 50%, so 2 firsts for a proven player that's still young seems reasonable. Paying him may be the problem...

Tundraboy's picture

Very tempting, but I would wonder how much of this is because of the way Mack played against us, not the best barometer. All the same I would be all in if we could sign him long term. Makes up for losing Ted Hendricks long ago.

tincada's picture

Are you kidding? The Wal Mart in Green Bay is to damn cheap. Not going to happen. Ted's well of undrafted rookies and used up FAs is far from dry. Somebody up there is hallucinating.

Jonathan Spader's picture

You do know that TT is a scout and Gute is the GM right?

Joe Garbarino's picture

When you have an opportunity to get a player of this magnitude and at this age, you do it. Even if you have to give up more than you want to. He's the equivalent of Rodgers on the defensive side.

sonomaca's picture

No one will blame Gute if he did this and it didn’t pan out.

Guam's picture

Tincada: The Packers profitability has nothing to do with cap spending. It is not a question of cash, but a question of what is available under the cap and a declining cap will be a serious problem.

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