Robinson: Oakland Raiders Will Force Khalil Mack To Play Fifth Year

Former Defensive Player Of The Year, Raiders In Stalemate

Ferrall On The Bench
October 30, 2018 - 8:00 am
Dec 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) stands on the field during a break in the action against the Dallas Cowboys in the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports joined Ferrall On The Bench on Tuesday to discuss the Khalil Mack situation. The star defensive end and the Oakland Raiders have hit a stalemate in negotiations.

"I think a trade is the least appetizing option for the Raiders," Robinson said. "You're talking about quarterback-level trade where realistically, the Raiders would not be crazy to ask for like two first-round picks for Khalil Mack. He's that level. He's a Defensive Player of the Year caliber player for the next two, three years. The bottom line is in terms of leverage, because they have this fifth year, because they have two franchise tags on top of that -- this is why players hate those franchise tags so much. Even when your contract ends, you've got at least two more years where a team can keep you. That robs players of any real legitimate long-term leverage.

"I think that the Raiders are going to force him to play that fifth year," Robinson continued. "They're going to try to force him to play that fifth year, the same way that the Broncos looked at Von Miller and said we're not extending you, we're going to make you play your fifth year option and then we'll talk about it after the season."

Robinson predicted that players will do whatever possible to remove the franchise tag when they get their chance at the negotiating table.

"I'm telling you right now, the next collective bargaining agreement -- players are going to go nuts trying to get rid of that franchise tag."

League owners have profited greatly from the current CBA, while the players arguably haven't gotten their fair share. 

"Owners are getting richer more than ever off their collective bargaining agreement," Robinson said. "It will end up going down in history as the biggest financial win for owners. I think for the players, the pain that they have felt in this deal, mostly it's been felt by elite-level players. They're sitting there going 'I want to be in free agency.' It's like Kirk Cousins. Even though he got paid, it drove Kirk Cousins nuts that he had to go through the process that he had to go through with the Washington Redskins. Now, he ultimately won. But there are going to players that won't always win in those situations."

Robinson sees an inevitable Mack-Raiders split.

"Mack is just another example of a franchise tag that a player absolutely hates, loathes and has brought the franchise and really its cornerstone player to a point where it almost looks like a divorce will have to be necessary."

Another topic discussed is the possibility of an 18-game NFL schedule. Robinson believes that the NFLPA would demand expanded rosters, expanded game day rosters and the elimination of a franchise tag or players only getting franchise tagged once in a career.