Reports surfaced this week that the Raiders could end up trading All-Pro OLB Khalil Mack.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 8, 2018
Though a quick Twitter scan reveals the Jets and Bills as rumored destinations, the Ravens should certainly inquire.
In fact, they should consider giving up the farm…or at least a piece of it.
How many times have we heard Ozzie Newsome say “you can never have too many pass rushers”? Landing the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year, and perhaps the best pass rusher in the league won’t be easy or cheap but what a way for Ozzie to complete his legacy.
If there was a weakness on the Ravens defense last season it was, without a doubt, the pass rush. The lack of interior pass rush was evident but the edge was also dormant too, for much of the season. The Ravens secondary could be special this year, and it should be, since their secondary spending leads the league.
However, expecting them to cover the likes of Antonio Brown, A.J. Green and others for five seconds or more is a tall task. In 2014, Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil were the most prolific pass rushing tandem in the NFL, combining for 29 sacks. That helped to cover up some poor secondary play. Now, the tide has turned, and last year it was the secondary that helped the pass rush.
Ozzie has made no moves for pass rushers this year in free agency or the draft, but that doesn’t mean the position won’t improve. With the likes of Kamalei Correa and Tim Williams starting to emerge, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the pass rush ends up being a strength of the defense. Tyus Bowser is another candidate to provide a front seven push but nagging injuries are costing him valuable practice reps. The biggest help may come from the interior with a healthy Brent Urban and breakout candidate Willie “Earl” Henry.
You might be wondering how the Ravens could afford an expensive star like Mack. Surprisingly, the team’s salary cap outlook after this year is very positive. There are several contracts the Ravens can move on from to save a significant amount of money.
But is Khalil Mack worth an excessively large portion of the salary cap?
Count me among those who reply, “Yes!”
But there is another component of such a move that needs to be considered. What might the Raiders would want in return? A player or two? Players and draft picks?
For the moment the Raiders are getting nothing from Mack and it appears this holdout isn’t going away anytime soon.
Whatever the case may be, a call from Ozzie to Jon Gruden is in order.