INDIANAPOLIS – Raiders edge rusher Khalil Mack is going to get paid. Italics were required to convey the amount he'll get with a new contract extension, which is already in the works.
General manager Reggie McKenzie wouldn't confirm a report from The Athletic that the Raiders have submitted a contract offer to Mack's representation, but spoke plainly about his desire to lock Mack up long term.
"I'm not going to get into contracts; I never do," McKenzie said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "But, make no bones about it, we want Khalil Mack to be a Raider. We'll leave it at that."
Mack will remain a Raider. A contract extension is expected this offseason. Mack will play the 2018 season on a fifth-year option worth $13.86 million, with franchise tags at McKenzie's disposal after that.
It isn't expected to get that far, though there isn't a set timetable to get a deal done. It could take some time. Contracts this size typically do.
"I'm not going to put a date on it," McKenzie said. "… He wants to be here. If we can sign him or not, that's another story. We'll let it take its course. We'll get into it when we get into it and, if we can get a deal done...we'll see."
This isn't a simple extension. Mack isn't an average player. He might be the NFL's best edge rusher, certainly of the league's elite defensive players. Mack won't come cheap, and could set the market for edge rushers with a nine-figure contract and significant, possibly record-seting guarantees for a defender. In this case, there are no hometown discounts. Again, Mack's going to get paid.
The Raiders planned for this. They got Derek Carr and Gabe Jackson extensions out of the way last summer, and are now focused on Mack's deal. They have $18.1 million in salary cap space, per overthecap.com, though Mack's fifth-year option already counts against it.
McKenzie has some financial flexibility, with several players under contract without guaranteed money.
A extension of Mack's projected size and scope will affect what else the Raiders can do this offseason.
"Some of these guys are making $25 million to play football," Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said. "It impacts the way you can field the rest of your roster."
Completing Mack's extension would shape McKenzie's offseason, especially with other holes left to fill.
"You can say it weighs on it," McKenzie said. "It's not a minimum contract, so we're going to have to figure out what we can do if we can't get it worked out. We have to spend money elsewhere."