In today’s NFL, an elite pass rusher coming off the edge is a must have for any defense. With the league being so pass-happy, having a guy that can consistently put pressure on the quarterback is important.
If you’re a team lucky enough to have one these elite edge rushers, you should be holding onto him for dear life. Trading him should be completely out of the question, right? Normally that would be the correct assumption, but it’s not always the case.
That brings us to Khalil Mack of the Oakland Raiders, one of the NFL’s best pass rushers, who has dominated in his first four seasons. Mack, 27, has over 300 tackles, 40.5 sacks, and nine force fumbles in his young career. He is a three-time Pro Bowler, two-time All-Pro, and was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. Despite these accolades, the young superstar is quite disgruntled at the moment.
Mack wants to become the highest paid pass rusher in the NFL, and rightfully so. However, he and the Raiders remain miles apart on a new deal. Now in the final year of his rookie deal, Mack has sat out the entirety of training camp, waiting for Jon Gruden to pay him. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that his big payday is coming anytime soon.
With every passing day that the Raiders don’t pay Mack, the odds of them trading him become more and more likely. With both sides currently not having dialogue with one another, Twitter has begun blowing up with speculations of where the elite pass rusher could wind up if Oakland decides to move him. One destination that seems ideal for Mack is the New York Jets.
Whether you believe it or not, the Jets are a team that’s on the rise. The offense is still a work in progress with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. However, their defense is loaded with young talented players like Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, and Leonard Williams. Adding Mack would give Gang Green the elite edge rusher they’ve been missing and take that defense to the next level.
While Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan has made it known that he is looking to upgrade the team’s front seven, adding a guy like Khalil Mack won’t be cheap. To get Mack, New York would likely need to part with at least two first round picks, and possibly more.
“You’re f%$#ing out of your mind if you think it would take that much to get Mack,” said every Jets fan reading that.
Am I though? We’re talking about arguably the best edge rusher in the NFL who is entering the prime of his career and would be an immediate upgrade for New York’s. It’s a steep price, but it’s one that any team will likely need to pay to get a player of Mack’s caliber.
Fortunately for the Jets, if they do pull the trigger on such a deal, they should have no issue locking Mack up long-term. New York currently has $16 million in cap space, and will have even more in the years to come. Given that they’re better at building the team through free agency than the draft, this trade seems ideal.
If the Jets are serious about contending in the near future, acquiring Khalil Mack is move they need to make. They better hurry too, because other teams are likely thinking the same thing.
Photo: Sports Mockery