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Packers Tried Pretty Hard to Get Khalil Mack from the Raiders

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.

Khalil Mack sacks Aaron Rodgers

Dec 16, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) makes a sack on Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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Jason Parker

Publisher / Editor / News Guy - Attended University of Georgia - currently living in SE Asia. I've seen Tommy Boy 112 times and I demand some respect.

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21 Comments

  1. PF4L July 21, 2019

    A quote highlighted in the article “why losing out on Mack wasn’t that big of a loss.”
    ***
    The Packers faced Mack during his best season in the midst of an offensive drought and still put up 30 points on the road. Bears fans thinking this somehow vaults them from last place to first place are fucking delusional.

    — Jackson Kesy (@JacksonKesy) September 1, 2018
    ****
    Bears 2018 season…12-4..750 winning percentage, 2nd best record in the NFL….Delusional?

    1. Howard July 22, 2019

      Delusional indeed. The bears in 2017 were ranked 10th in points per play allowed. With Mack the bears jumped to #1 in that important stat. When Philbin, before the last bears game said the Bears defense had #1 statistic rankings almost across the board on defense he was not exaggerating.

      There is a site that keeps drive statistics. Below is some of the rankings in 2018 with Mack, and 2017 without Mack

      Yds allowed per drive 2018- #1 2017- #14
      Points allowed per drive 2018-#1 2017-#10
      Turnovers per drive 2018-#1. 2017-#15
      Plays per drive 2018- #4. 2017- #21
      Drive success rate 2018-#1. 2017- #14
      3 and out drives 2018- #1. 2017- #12
      Points Red zone 2018-#5. 2017- #12

      Another thing Mack and the bears defense did was put the Bears offense in good, if not great field position to score points. The big jump for the bears as a team was not the jump from #10 to #1 in points allowed per play, but jumping from #25 (2017) to #6 (2018) in points made per play by their offense. Nagy, and a more experienced Trubisky had a hand in that jump. Mack, and his defensive teammates also helped the offense make that big jump in offensive points per play.

    2. PF4L July 22, 2019

      Yea Howard ..i don’t know who that clown (jackson kesy) is. I just can’t figure out why someone would quote him in the first place. The bears defense was getting pretty damn good before Mack arrived.
      ***
      With that said, i’m just not sold on Trubisky (yet) and IMO, he’ll hold them back from going deep in the playoffs. Call me crazy…but i think most Packer fans would be sporting a woody if the Packers defense came anywhere close to the bears defense.

    3. Mitch Anthony July 23, 2019

      Yes indeed, the Bears defense was getting better before Mack arrived. Roquan Smith is going to play huge dividends for them going into the future. Akiem Hicks anchors their line very well and Trevathan and Fuller have been solid performers for them. The up-front group for the Bears makes their back-end look good because of the pressure they can put on.

      You know who they are going to make look good? HHCD, that’s who. I’ll bet that the center-fielder type safety that he is will enjoy playing in the Bears secondary as that pressure up front will likely give him opportunities. Just a prediction but I’ll bet Dix will be able to make it look like he’s doing his best work as a Bear. Not that he’ll actually tackle, but those guys up front may just force pick opportunities his way.

    4. PF4L July 24, 2019

      Yea, good point Mitch. Playing his natural position with a strong supporting cast might do him wonders. We didn’t draft him for safety because someone was busy outsmarting the rest of the GM’s and labeled him a corner right after the draft.With that said i think at times Dix still plays “lazy”. But then again, what do i know, i’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  2. PF4L July 21, 2019

    “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?” – Mark Murphy
    ***
    So…..you aggressively tried to get Mack, but at the same time you didn’t think it was a good way to build a team? These statements would normally contradict each other, but because they come from the mind of Mark Murphy, it makes perfect sense.
    ***
    BROKEN

    1. Cheese July 21, 2019

      Lol, nice how he contradicts himself, hey? Murphy also states that he thinks “the Raiders took the Bears offer because they thought they would be a better draft pick,” yet the Bears offered two first round picks and the Packers only offered one first round pick and some later picks. Clearly, two first rounders had nothing to do with the Raiders decision. It was all about draft position… Newsflash Mark, two first rounders IS a better draft position than one first rounder and a handful of 3rd-5th rounders.
      .
      “Is that a good way to build a team?”- I can think of several things the Packers didn’t do that would have helped them build their team, but I have a life and I’m not wasting my time listing all that crap.
      .
      “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.” Not necessarily. Having a solid team of decent players in a decent system works better than having one great player trying to do it all by himself, all the time. Despite not adding Mack on the defensive side of the ball, GB’s offense hasn’t exactly been stellar the past few seasons either. Would signing Mack have extended McCarthy’s time in Wisconsin? I’m not sure, but not signing Mack definitely help show McCarthy the door a lot quicker.

    2. PF4L July 22, 2019

      I can remember a lot of Packer fans saying we couldn’t afford to sign Mack. Which, lit me up to no end. I knew they could sign him knowing the salary cap space for 19, and the contracts that could easily fall of the books. Sure, we could have spent all that money on the Smith brothers and Amos, but when anyone of those guys become difference makers, then i’ll listen to that debate.
      ***
      Personally i think Gute missed bad on Mack for 2 reasons. I would have done whatever it took, he had a extra #1 pick to play with. But 1) he could have made a name for himself by getting him (Ron Wolf style), it also would have gave him a “win” in player acquisition. I say a “win” because in 2018 draft and free agent signings, i didn’t see any wins from Gute (we’ll see what Alexander can do) too early too tell. A lesson we’ve learned the hard way from crowning draft picks after their first season in the past. Then 2) the most important reason of all…Mack is a difference maker, if you have a chance to get one….get him as they don’t come available often. Not much different than getting Reggie White. It could be argued that without Reggie White, the Packers don’t win the 96 Super Bowl. Ron Wolf saw an opportunity to land a difference maker, he offered the most money and pulled the trigger with no regrets. I don’t see much difference between the two scenario’s.
      ***
      I don’t know how the Smiths and Amos will contribute, but i know this, i’ll take one difference maker over 3 body’s. How far back do we have to go since the Packers landed a difference maker?
      ***
      I’ll get into defense expectations at another time, but this season is critical on a few levels.

  3. Deepsky July 22, 2019

    What hurt the Packers last year was that both Clay Matthews and especially Nick Perry completely tanked last year. In a contract year, Perry became a nobody. If Perry just wanted to get off the Packers team, he failed miserably as he still isn’t signed by an NFL team.

    The Smiths aren’t as good as Khalil Mack, but they’re close, especially when you consider tackles and quarterback pressures and the Packers got them both for $26 million. Mack alone would have cost them $23 million.

    Gotta wonder how the Bears defense will look this year without Vic Fangio and several other defensive coaches. Sometimes there are defensive coordinators who do really well against certain quarterbacks – like Capers vs Jay Cutler. Fangio always did really well against Aaron Rodgers.

    1. Howard July 22, 2019

      I think Russ Ball would have figured out a way to pay more Dollars for Mack than the Bears paid. :-)

  4. PF4L July 22, 2019

    Hmmm…lol….i remember a few people…one posting in this article, how the Perry signing was a bargain.

    1. Deepsky July 22, 2019

      Perry was coming off an 11 sack year with 50+ tackles and 16 QB hits. Two out of three of those numbers are better than Z Smith’s last year. He was going to get paid whether the Packers paid him or not. I was a proponent of signing him. He made plays in 2016. Lots of them.

      But man, did he fall off to nothing. And now the Packers are taking an $11 million salary cap hit on him.

  5. PF4L July 22, 2019

    I can’t argue with that, Perry was coming off one good season of an 11 sack season in his 5th injury year, the previous 4 years was a preview of what you got after giving him the winning lottery ticket (pay the man). He may have gotten paid by other teams if they were desperate enough to roll the dice, but we’ll never know. Just because other teams may pay someone, doesn’t mean your team automatically should. See Albert Haynesworth.

    1. Deepsky July 23, 2019

      True, Perry was only “good” for one year, although he showed flashes.

      I guess in contrast to other first round busts, like Sherrod and Datone Jones taken the year before and the year after, the Packers needed it to look like Perry was a good pick.

  6. KILLER July 23, 2019

    Here guys. Something for you to watch over and over and just RELAX.

    https://t.co/Qa5qhtR8Jj

  7. PF4L July 23, 2019

    Here is one for the queen fans. Celebrating after a Super Bowl win….Rock on!

  8. PF4L July 23, 2019

    Oh Snap!!….My bad. I found the queens Super Bowl win, but then i forget i typed in search for the luckiest win in NFL history and got that video.
    ***
    My sincere apologies to all the queen fans that read this. I’ll go back and search for the queens celebrating winning the Super Bowl. Shouldn’t take me too long to find it, don’t go anywhere.

  9. Kato July 23, 2019

    Ok, Gutekunst is drunk. 3 years $23 million for Dean Lowry?

    1. Kato July 24, 2019

      And now we are cutting what could have been a valuable trade piece. You are telling they couldn’t get a 5th round pick out of Mike Daniels? I don’t even know what the Packers are doing anymore

  10. PF4L July 24, 2019

    Funny how some of our superstar talent aren’t worth anything on the open market (see Nick Perry). Now we have Daniels who just got cut because there wasn’t any trade interest. Unlike Perry, some team may sign Daniels…but trust me when i say they will no doubt pay him what he’s actually worth (outside of Green Bay, see Russ Ball).
    ***
    In related news, after passing his Packer physical, Daniels became so incensed with Gute for cutting him, he was heard to be muttering in the locker room something about Gute and getting punched in the mouth, allegedly.
    ***
    This cut was actually a positive move in getting rid of dead weight. Trouble is this process is taking years, a bit slow. I’m not exactly sure why the Packers think Jimmy G and his 12.6 million cap number is a winning strategy, but hey, nothing they can’t fix in another year (like i said, a bit slow.)
    **
    I’ll skip writing about whether Jordy could have scored more than the 2 td’s that Cobb had for 60% less money. because i’ve beaten that horse senseless. Senseless, much like a good portion of Packers player acquisition and roster strategy.

    1. PF4L July 24, 2019

      After further review…Graham couldn’t be cut because of his 12.3 million dead cap…see Russ Ball.
      ***
      I remember when some fans were talking that this signing had a one year out…not this time.
      ***
      So even though Graham was guaranteed 11 million on his deal…in essence you could call it 22 plus million, as the Packers weren’t going to take a 12 million dead cap hit. Jesus Christ….Gute and Ball must have been pretty dead nuts positive that Graham was worth this money. Do they even think this shit out? Of that 22 million, they’ve already paid Graham over 18 million, before he even starts his second season.
      ***
      How does someone fail at their job repeatedly giving out bad contracts (Russ Ball) then for some G D reason…Mark Murphy gives him a promotion and more money? Welcome to the Twilight Zone.
      ***
      This team is so fucked up.