Over half of the NFL called the Raiders to inquire about the acquisition of Khalil Mack. But Oakland General Manager Reggie McKenzie was not interested in trading the All-Pro-Edge Rusher.
He focused on extending Mack's contract despite the large difference in value between player and team. The offers rose on Friday to the point where the Raiders did something unexpected.
They agreed to a deal to send Mack to Chicago to get a compensation package that included two first-round picks.
"My entire thinking was hol Khalil (signed)," said McKenzie on Saturday. "It was over in the last hour that it was just hit, it hit hard and hard, it was not a plan to act on it at all."
The hunters set a high price. The bears agreed, and he was among the teams the Raiders would likely have a high draft pick in the next few years.
McKenzie is visibly surprised by what happened: He had long planned to hold Mack and quarterback Derek Carr on long, expensive contracts.
He tried to make a deal in February around the time of the NFL Scouting Combine. The Raiders sent Agent Joel Segal an offer for Mack's contract. Segal countered. Eyebrows were raised.
The sites did not talk much after that, and Mack eventually held services during the off-season program, training camp and preseason. While some thought Mack might blink, report and play at $ 1
"There were some things that did not go together between the two proposals," McKenzie said. "That made it difficult to go into details, we tried to figure out how we could do it, but it would not look like Khalil wanted it, the bottom line is that he could not come in. By not coming in, it has Show him we'll probably have to see what's going to happen in the world if it continues like this. "
The Raiders could have retained his rights for three seasons on the fifth year option and two franchise tags. They decided to trade as a new course of action as the trading market intensified on Friday night.
Mack was sold to the Bears, who crafted a six-year, $ 141 million deal that included $ 90 million in guarantees and set a record for defensive players
The Raiders would not go there. McKenzie would not talk about details of contract applications, but that's way more than quarterback Derek Carr got last summer.
It is rare for a quarterback and defensive player with top-of-market deals to be in the same team, but McKenzie
"We knew we had two great players before 1945 in this draft " McKenzie said. "We knew this thing would come, we tried to plan it, sometimes it just does not work, this scenario did not weigh on our decisions."
Trading Mack in a league where top players seldom leave their teams, is rare. This could also send bad news to young players. If the Raiders did not reward a fair market conclusion for Mack, an elite talent that was never in trouble, players might wonder if they will be rewarded when the time comes.
"We will pay top dollar," McKenzie said. "We could not get around and give Khalil what he wanted, we're going to pay the top players top dollar, we just could not work with Khalil, it looked like we decided to trade, we're going to be players We will find a way to continue to play good football, we are not worried about the outward perception of free agency, we will have free agents here when it is time and we will keep our own. Sometimes you can not keep them all, that's the way it works. "
Trading Mack, an immensely popular locker room presence, will be wrinkling some eyebrows on the roster. McKenzie is aware of that.
"It will stab them," McKenzie said. "Players are protecting themselves and their teammates, that's how it should be, they'll miss Khalil, I'll miss Khalil, we'll both miss Khalil, let's get this point out, we'll all miss him, but we'll all be carry on. "