Baltimore Ravens: Exploring the Raiders “shopping Khalil Mack”
What’s the cost?
Getting Khalil Mack is not going to be easy. Mack’s name value alone makes him instantaneously one of the hardest to acquire players in the league. Trading for Mack would instantly make this a blockbuster level trade. And for good reason, as it will be a hefty price tag for the 27-year old.
For starters, this is a trade involving a minimum of a first round pick in 2019. That alone won’t get the job done, as you could have to part with a fourth in 2019 or a third in 2020 (generously). But for a player like Khalil Mack, it’ll take more than draft picks. No, the Ravens will have to sweeten the deal with a player. The player who makes the most sense to ship off is cornerback Jimmy Smith.
Before you riot, hear me out. The Raiders are in desperate need for a top cornerback. Gareon Conley could breakout his sophomore-year in the league, but he was hardly on the field in 2017. After him are guys like Rashaan Melvin (bad memories), Leon Hall, Daryl Worley, and Shareece Wright (chuckles). That’s not exactly instilling confidence in the secondary.
Trading for Smith makes sense, but the Raiders will be cautious because of his age and injury history. Smith is already 30-years old and has played 16-games just twice in his career. 11 career interceptions since 2011 also isn’t super sexy.
However, as we all know, a healthy Jimmy Smith is a top ten cornerback in the NFL, at a bare minimum. Smith is an immediate upgrade over everything available to Oakland currently. If they aren’t satisfied with his play in 2018, they can cut him after this year and save nearly $10 million on their cap.
Matt Judon could also be an option, as the soon to be 26-year old is still young enough for a long-term contract. Judon wouldn’t cost the Raiders nearly as much as Mack would and has improved in each of his first two NFL seasons.