Why Didn't We See Mack Coming?
Preparation is key to success. Sometimes things look like they are being done on the fly but that is just the tail end of a comet you saw. The trade for Khalil Mack caught most people sleeping. No matter how much a Bear fan wanted to dream about Mack, common sense kept most of us grounded. First off, he was under contract with the Raiders, hard to fantasize for a player that belongs to another franchise. However, the longer the holdout continued, the more Vegas begin to weigh in on the odds of teams getting Mack.
I am not sure how hard it is to lay odds. I would think there were only a handful of teams who had the cap space to land the holdout. So maybe Vegas started there and that left Chicago in the mix. I think Green Bay was in that small pool of teams. Someone told me (not sure how accurate they are) that only 5 teams had the cap ability to maneuver a deal.
Then you had to have draft picks to give you the most favorable odds. Green Bay has 2 first round draft picks coming up this next year and that landed them in the front seat. The only thing is, no team would be allow to talk to Mack unless given permission by the Raiders. The Bears or the Giants could not just pick up a phone and ask Khalil if he was interested in becoming a Bear. That would be collusion.
Several things happened for the stars to start shifting themselves into alignment. The first thing was, Aaron Rodgers got his big pay day. I am not sure where the Packers stood, but they just doled out a record contract for Rodgers, could they do it again for the services of Mack? I think that contract put a sting in the shareholders pocketbook. Another thing that happened was Aaron Donald received his record making contract setting the price for a Mack size payday. I think it is something that two Aaron's were dominoes falling into the laps of the Bears. The Raiders found it to be too rich for their blood. They were heavily invested in a 100 million dollar contract of John Gruden and a franchise contract to their quarterback. With those big payouts, they also are in the midst of moving their franchise.
Was all this predictable? Certainly I could not see it happening before it did, but my gut thinks there were some calculations being done at Halas Hall. After the Chicago Bears spent their money on free agents this past winter, they still had a lot of money under the cap. I kept hearing fans say, "Why are they not spending that money?" Many wanted the Bears to continue buying free agents.
Was Mack in the back of their minds for a long period of time? Was Ryan Pace sitting on information that his accountants could provide him with concerning the Raiders? Did the Bears see an impasse in the contract dispute long before it happened?
Pay attention to Charles Leno in the last part of the video. He say's, "We been talking about this for a year." Did the Bears land Mack because they were the best prepared for it? Was Prince Amukamara telling an inside joke?
Give me your thoughts.