The Raiders have formally picked up Khalil Mack's fifth-year option, a source said on Thursday morning. It was a given considering Mack's performance and leadership since being selected No. 5 overall in the 2014 draft.
Teams are afforded a fifth-year team option on first-round draft picks, and this one binds Mack to the team through 2018. As a top 10 pick, Mack is scheduled to make the average of the top 10 players at his position in that option year. That will be a pretty penny.
General manager Reggie McKenzie wants to lock Mack into a long-term contract at some point soon, but the option affords more flexibility to get a deal done. He doesn't have that luxury with 2014 second-round quarterback Derek Carr and third-round guard Gabe Jackson, who have contracts expiring after the 2017 season. McKenzie has budgeted extensions for all three guys, and will start executing deals after the NFL Draft. Carr's extension is expected to come first.
None of them will be cheap, and Mack could become one of, if not the NFL's highest paid defender.
Mack is the NFL reigning defensive player of year after a 2016 season where he had 73 tackles, 11 sacks, five forced fumbles and an interception returned for a touchdown.
The news was first reported by Fox Sports' Peter Shrager.