The Khalil Mack trade still stings in the Raiders' locker room, even 16 weeks after the linebacker was shipped to Chicago.
That much was evident Friday, when an NFL Network crew was at the team's Alameda facility polling players for its "Top 100 Players" show that runs every offseason.
NFL Films is in the Raiders' locker room today, conducting its annual Top 100 player poll. Asked two players who they voted No. 1. Same answer: "Khalil."— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) December 21, 2018
Ranking Mack No. 1 -- he finished 16th in last year's poll -- speaks volumes about what his teammates thought of him, and also how the trade likely sank the mood in Oakland. The exact return for Mack won't take effect for some years, as the Raiders use the two first-round draft picks obtained in the deal, then see if either or both of those players can become Mack-level contributors.
That's unlikely, with Mack again playing at an NFL Defensive Player of the Year-type level. Mack has more sacks this season than the entire Raiders team, and he also leads the league with six forced fumbles. That's generational player production that's almost impossible to replace.
While losing Mack always will be the Raiders' problem, stopping him will be the 49ers' problem Sunday, as the Bears visit Levi's Stadium. Safe to say that any Raiders fans (or even players) sneaking into the proceedings will look upon Mack wistfully and think about what might have been had he stayed.