Mark Murphy spoke to 105.7 The Fan’s Gary Ellerson about the Packers’ unsuccessful attempt at acquiring Khalil Mack from the Raiders. Adding insult to injury, he was grabbed by division rival Chicago Bears instead.
“Well the whole Khalil Mack thing. It’s not that we didn’t try. 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.”
“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 — Is that a good way to build a team?”
Nearly a season ago, the Chicago Bears completed the trade with the Oakland Raiders for Khalil Mack, All-Pro linebacker and former Defensive Player of the Year. Losing out on Mack was tough for the Packers, particularly to a divisional rival. It appears the Raiders were thinking they’d receive a better draft pick from the Bears, looking for the team in the division they thought would have the worst record in 2018. Murphy insisted that the Packers were very aggressive in their pursuit to land Mack.
Looking from the Raiders perspective, a Packers team with Aaron Rodgers at the helm would produce a better win-loss record than a Bears team with Mitch Trubisky under center. After all, the Bears had been consistently at the bottom of the NFC North and routinely had a top 10 draft pick.
Despite the fact that the Packers ended with the 12th overall pick and the Bears the 24th, the Bears were willing to give up two first round picks for Mack, which had to play a key role. The best the Packers could do, according to reports last season, was one first round pick and several other picks. The two first-round picks trumped any combination the Packers could come up with.
Having a top defensive player like Mack to go along with future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers appeared to make sense, until you look at the finances of the situation. According to Murphy, having the highest paid players on both sides of the ball made little sense for building a team for the long haul.
Looking at the whole situation from a different perspective, had the Packers landed Mack, they wouldn’t have been able to acquire significant free agents Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith or draft Rashan Gary. A TP writer discussed at the time why losing out on Mack wasn’t that big of a loss.