With veteran players reporting to Napa Valley Marriott on Thursday, training camp is officially on the periphery for the Oakland Raiders. The team holds its first full-team practice on Friday, albeit without pads.
One notable omission that won’t be participating is defensive end Khalil Mack, who is officially holding out for a new contract. The three-time Pro Bowler is currently set to earn $13.8 million this season — the final year of his rookie contract.
While there’s no timetable on when Mack may return to the Raiders, perhaps more concerning has been the lack of communication between both parties.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden hasn’t spoken to Mack since he first rejoined the organization in January:
Interesting fact of day: Jon Gruden and Oakland DE Khalil Mack have not spoken once since the Raiders hired their new head coach in January. No contact between two men who should be vital this season for the Raiders.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 26, 2018
That Gruden and Mack reportedly haven’t touched base in nearly six months is certainly troubling to say the least.
By skipping June’s mandatory minicamp, Mack is already subject to roughly $80,000 in fines, should the Raiders choose to impose them. Now by extending his holdout into training camp, the 27-year-old is set to rack up even heftier ones.
Previous reports indicated that Mack is seeking a mega contract reminiscent of the one Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller signed in 2016, which netted him nearly $70 million in guaranteed salary.
Given the magnitude of Mack’s asking price, there’s no telling on when the Raiders will reach a resolution with their star pass rusher.