With the Oakland Raiders' near future in flux, their star defensive player has adjusted one of the club's iconic phrases to suit their current situation.
"Just win now," Mack said, via the Mercury News with a play off former owner Al Davis' Just Win, Baby. "That's what it comes down to. That's all we want to do. Because we don't know what's going to happen down the line. This team we have now, we want to focus on winning now."
While Mack may have been referring to the eventual move, there are a lot of reasons this team needs to win now. Mack is coming up on his club option year and could eventually hit the market after a franchise tag season if the Raiders cannot secure a long-term deal. Left tackle Donald Penn will be a free agent after this season as will guard Gabe Jackson. Jackson, thanks to the other guard contracts in this year's free agency, will likely cash in on the open market. Safety Reggie Nelson will also be up after this year. Quarterback Derek Carr will soon head to the negotiating table after the draft.
This is a problem that all good teams face, though the Raiders are in a unique position to hand the city of Oakland a championship before they depart for Las Vegas. With Carr and Mack, the Raiders' window will never truly be closed though it will take years to compile the same level of talent and veteran experience on a roster again. Just winning now would solve an awful lot of problems.
As for the move, Mack echoed the sentiments of Carr, who was optimistic that fans would follow then to Nevada.
"It just feels weird right now," Mack said. "But I feel once we get in that stadium and get around the fans — they know we don't have control over those things. It comes down to us coming to work and doing our job and doing whatever we can, whatever it takes to win."