With Odell Beckham Jr and Aaron Donald receiving their new contracts right before the expiration of their rookie deals, Khalil Mack is now the last man standing.
The defensive end has yet to report to the Oakland Raiders for training camp, and hasn’t even spoken to new head coach Jon Gruden. The Raiders have reportedly been shopping Mack, with the asking price remaining at two first-round draft picks. Against all odds, one of the league’s wackiest franchises still has interest.
According to reports, the Cleveland Browns have had discussions with Oakland about potentially acquiring Mack in a trade.
— 247Sports (@247Sports) August 31, 2018
The situation between Mack and the Raiders continues to get uglier, as the expectation is the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year will continue his holdout into the regular season.
Cleveland’s defensive depth has taken a hit following the release of linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who was charged with insider trading by the federal government. The Browns are looking to post the “greatest turnaround in sports history,” and bringing in Mack can certainly do that.
The Browns have so much salary cap space that they could offer Khalil Mack the $20 million annually he's asking for.
…and still have the second-most Top 51-salary cap space in the NFL. https://t.co/dOHveDMA28
— Allan Bell (@AllanBell247) August 31, 2018
What has deterred many teams from acquiring Mack is the asking price, sent off for a player who will likely hit free agency at the end of the season regardless. However, that works in Cleveland’s favor, as they currently have the most cap space in the league with over $55 million, according to Spotrac. With that factor alone, the Browns will be able to match Mack’s asking price of a $20 million annual salary and still have plenty of cap room.
While it remains to be seen if Browns general manager John Dorsey will pull the proverbial trigger, it does add more intrigue heading into the start of the season.