Chances of Khalil Mack being traded very real


Now that Rams' stalwart Aaron Donald has set the market for defensive superstars, it's decision time for Oakland and All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack.

Will the Raiders open the coffers for a contract on par with Donald's? Or will they start giving more weight to the trade offers that have been pouring in of late?

Whereas there was no indication early this week that they would even entertain the notion of parting with Mack, the market for a trade is suddenly "very robust," according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

How robust? There are enough teams interested that the Raiders are "gauging and listening," Rapoport reported via several sources with direct knowledge of the market. In fact, the chance of a blockbuster trade is now "very real," Rapoport added for emphasis.

The Raiders have been asking for two first-rounders during trade talks and there is a belief they can get it, Rapoport reported Saturday morning.

This is a big test for the new hierarchy in Oakland. Will coach Jon Gruden unload the best player on his roster, a difference-making talent drafted by general manager Reggie McKenzie to operate as a franchise cornerstone along with Derek Carr?

It's beginning to look that way.

A disgruntled Mack has no offer on the table from the Raiders and hasn't engaged in serious negotiations with the organization since February, Rapoport reiterated on Thursday. Absent a trade, it's highly unlikely that Mack will be on the field for the start of the regular season.

Against that backdrop, the demand for his services is high enough that Gruden might just receive an offer he can't refuse. To even start the conversation, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero noted Thursday, a team would have to surrender at least two first-round draft picks in addition to a top-of-the-market contract for Mack.

Despite that steep asking price, per Rapoport, the belief is that the Raiders have four or five teams directly engaged in trade talks.

The Jets have been hot on Mack's trail for at least a week, the New York Daily News reported. The Browns were expected to inquire about a trade on Friday, per the Plain Dealer. Armed with an extra first-round pick in 2019, the Packers have also been connected to Mack.

Will the 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year be on the move before Saturday's 4:00 p.m. ET deadline for roster cuts? Stay tuned to Around The NFL and NFL Network for updates.