Packers 'were aggressive' in pursuing Khalil Mack

The past is writ in indelible ink as the moving finger advances towards future endeavors. The unimpeded march of time does not preclude us mortals from contemplating rearward events that could have altered our future if we'd acted differently.

So it is for the Green Bay Packers, who 10 months ago came up short in their bid to trade for Khalil Mack, instead watching rival Chicago Bears snag the former Defensive Player of the Year from the Oakland Raiders.

Green Bay's team president Mark Murphy told 105.7 The FAN's Gary Ellerson during the Packers Hall of Fame Golf Outing that the Raiders decision came down to predicting which NFC North team would have a worse record in 2018.

"Well the whole Khalil Mack thing. It's not that we didn't try," Murphy said. "We were aggressive. We wanted to sign him. I think, ironically, the Raiders took the Bears offer because they thought they would be a better draft pick."

Perhaps the Raiders figured an Aaron Rodgers-led Packers team would be better than a Mitch Trubisky-led Bears team that had been stuck in the cellar and picked inside the top 10 the previous four seasons. Such analysis would ignore what it would mean to the Bears to add a game-changing talent like Mack, but Oakland couldn't have anticipated the Packers would have fallen apart as they did. It could have been the case that whichever team the Raiders sent Mack to would have had the better record.

The Packers ended up 6-9-1 with the No. 12 overall pick. The Bears won the NFC North at 12-4 and gave Oakland the No. 24 selection.

Aside from Murphy's claim that the Raiders figured Chicago would have a worse record, the Bears willingness to offer two first-round picks likely played a role. As noted by Cheesehead TV's Zachary Jacobson, it was reported last year that the Packers offered one of their 2019 first-rounders and a plethora of other selections, but not both first-rounders.

Continuing a supposed defense as to why his team didn't up the offer to pair a generational talent like Mack to a generational QB like Rodgers, Murphy noted he'd have to hand the pass-rusher a record-setting contract, just days after he just gave one to the quarterback.

"I don't know if it is good to have the highest-paid offensive player in the league, and the highest-paid defensive player in the league," asked Murphy. "Is that a good way to build a team?"

Sure, there would have been trepidation in paying two players an exorbitant percentage of the salary cap. It also means the Packers likely wouldn't have had to shell out boatloads of cash for free agents Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith this offseason. If they'd landed Mack, they also wouldn't have been in a position to draft Rashan Gary at No. 12.

Thus ends today's edition of What If We Rewrite History. Murphy's rationale, reasoning, excuses, or whatever you want to call it, doesn't change the past one iota.

In the end, it doesn't even matter.