Oakland Raiders: Looking at the pros and cons of dealing Khalil Mack

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 04: Khalil Mack
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 04: Khalil Mack /
3 of 8
Oakland Raiders
OAKLAND, CA – OCTOBER 09: Khalil Mack #52 of the Oakland Raiders reacts after a play against the San Diego Chargers during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 9, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Con: Relying on younger players

The flip side of dealing an experienced veteran like Mack – one who’s been nothing but dominant since he first set foot on the field – is that Gruden will now need to rely on younger, less proven players. And players who haven’t been anywhere near as dominant as Mack has over his first four seasons.

Live Feed

Khalil Mack blatantly calls out Chargers teammates after Broncos loss
Khalil Mack blatantly calls out Chargers teammates after Broncos loss /

Bolt Beat

  • Khalil Mack's record-setting 2023 for Chargers nearly never happened Bolt Beat
  • Khalil Mack carries Chargers to snooze fest win over Patriots Bolt Beat
  • Chargers news: Keenan Allen injury, Khalil Mack award, Josh Palmer injury update Bolt Beat
  • Chargers LB Joey Bosa carted off the field in Week 11. Out vs. Ravens? Ebony Bird
  • Deshaun Watson and the 5 worst contracts in the NFL right now FanSided
  • Obviously, Gruden and company have been impressed with guys like Arden Key, Fadol Brown, and even Shilique Calhoun over the summer and the preseason slate of games. They obviously feel comfortable enough with what they have in house already, that they felt they could move on from Mack and not necessarily skip a beat in the process.

    Yeah, that’s to be determined.

    But, there is a case to be made for that. Without Mack over the preseason slate of games, the Raiders still accounted for 12 sacks. A dozen.

    Yeah, it was preseason, and you can argue that playing against another team’s scrubs doesn’t count for much, but the fact of the matter is, the guys on the field found a way to get to the quarterback. And when you’re talking about young guys like Key, the potential for them to get better is even higher.

    Guys like Brown and Calhoun, who never amounted to much in the Jack Del Rio/Ken Norton Jr.-led defense, have suddenly found new life in DC Paul Guenther’s scheme. And if they survive cutdown day, could be poised to have a real impact and be important contributors for Oakland’s defense – which is something most of us never thought we’d say about Shilique Calhoun.

    Also Read. Aaron Donald Deal May Make Mack Trade More Likely. light

    Gruden and Guenther obviously believe in their system and their schemes so much, and so thoroughly, they believe they can plug anybody into them, and that they’ll have success. And given Guenther’s success with guys not drafted in the first round like Carlos Dunlap (second around) and Geno Atkins (fourth round), maybe he needs to be given a little benefit of the doubt.