Oakland traded Khalil Mack to Chicago on Saturday, and the Bears promptly made Mack the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL. That’s something the Raiders weren’t going to do.
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said today that the Raiders did make Mack an offer, but it was not even in the same ballpark as the enormous deal he signed with the Bears.
“I don’t believe we were anywhere close to where the Bears were,” Gruden said. “He got a great contract from the Bears. A great contract. You know, $90 million guaranteed is an astronomical number, it’s phenomenal for the players, great for him obviously. But that was something we could not do.”
Gruden didn’t think it was realistic to make Mack the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL after paying quarterback Derek Carr so much.
“You’ve got to field a 53-man roster and there are some implications of having two players making that much,” Gruden said.
Gruden said getting the Bears’ 2019 and 2020 first-round draft picks could be huge for the Raiders in the future.
“Two first-round draft choices is a lot of compensation that we have to do something with,” Gruden said.
If Gruden doesn’t do something with those picks, his trade will be second-guessed forever.