Can the Ravens make it work?
A lot has to go right in Baltimore to land Khalil Mack, but it certainly isn’t impossible.
The initial trade with the Oakland Raiders would be the toughest part. A 2019 first and fourth round pick and either Jimmy Smith or Matt Judon could entice Oakland quite a bit. After the trade is made, however, things get difficult for the front office fast. Khalil Mack is much more than a name, he’s arguably the league’s top defensive player. Getting Mack inked long-term takes over as top priority in Baltimore.
To do this, a ton of moves need to be made, mainly moving contracts around and/or getting rid of them. Moving on from Jimmy Smith’s contract is likely the first move the team will make. Finding a way to once again restructure Brandon Williams contract will be a smart move, but that seems difficult to do two straight years. Cutting veterans like Eric Weddle are also possibilities just to save room on the salary cap.
And, of course, the elephant in the room is Joe Flacco’s contract. The team could easily cut him after the 2018 season, but trading him is the team’s best option. Teams like Tampa Bay or Miami make the most sense to be potential trade partners for the former Super Bowl XLVII MVP.
Even if the team can maneuver around these contracts, watching other guys leave becomes the hardest part for the signing. Like we just talked about, losing a C.J. Mosley in free agency after 2018 is a very real, and scary, scenario for Baltimore. Terrell Suggs, one of the faces of the Ravens defense, is also an unrestricted free agent after 2018.
Losing those two players alone creates a ridiculously different looking Ravens defense in 2019. Making all the above roster moves to fit in Mack is an insane thought. So, now we must ask ourselves the following question: “Is Khalil Mack worth this kind of turnover?”