Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey has only been on the job for less than a year, but in that time he has shown he is not afraid to be aggressive when it comes to adding talent.
Knowing that, it would not come as a surprise if Dorsey is burning up the phone lines trying to get in touch with Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie to see if he can work out a deal for linebacker Khalil Mack, the NFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
Mack and the Raiders have been in a protracted disagreement on a new deal, and Oakland is reportedly open to the idea, if the price is right, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network:
The #Raiders have received a bunch of calls in recent days about trading Khalil Mack, but other teams have gotten the impression the price would be at least two first-round picks. No sense they‘re motivated to do a deal. @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/OUsqtMQyKu— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 29, 2018
Of course, just because the Raiders may want a pair of first-round picks doesn’t mean that is what they would get in a potential deal for Mack. (Remember how the “starting price” for former New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was a first-round pick? But the actual price was a second-round pick? It’s called negotiating.)
But even if McKenzie held firm to the reported asking price, it is something that Dorsey and the Browns would have to consider very strongly.
Mack has posted 36.5 sacks in the past three seasons, the second most in the NFL. Pairing the 27-year-old Mack with defensive ends Myles Garrett (age 22) and Emmanuel Ogbah (age 24) would give the Browns a trio to terrorize quarterbacks for the next several years.
Mack is about to embark on the final year of his rookie contract and is set to make a bit more than $13.4 million this year. Any trade would involve an extension, naturally, but with the Browns having more than $55 million in available cap space, per spotrac.com, and the luxury of having numerous key players - including quarterback Baker Mayfield - on their rookie deals, the money is there.
As for the asking price, two first-round picks is a high cost, but Dorsey to weigh the value of hoping those picks turn into viable players vs. knowing that Mack is already a proven player.
Plus, if things break right, the second of those two first-round picks could be in the second half of the round.
Dorsey has shown that he is not afraid to take a shot and there is no better player for the “football guy” to shoot for right now than Khalil Mack.