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Rumor: Raiders DE Khalil Mack wants $22 million per year

Khalil Mack, Raiders

Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack has steadfastly continued his holdout even in the face of a hefty $814,000 fine for not reporting before the team’s first preseason game.

There doesn’t appear to be an end in sight to Mack’s holdout. That may have a lot to do with a disagreement over Mack’s supposed salary demands, which former NFL general manager Mike Lombardi says is in excess of $20 million per year.

$22 million seems like an astonishing sum for a defensive player. For context, Broncos pass rusher Von Miller is currently the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL, earning just over $19 million per year.

If the Raiders handed Mack $22 million, he’d suddenly have the same average salary as Aaron Rodgers and a higher salary than four other Super Bowl/MVP-winning quarterbacks Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, and Tom Brady.

If Mack is indeed asking for that star quarterback-level of cash, the Raiders have good reason to be wary of handing it to him. As good as Mack is, it’s tough to justify paying that amount to a non-QB who will struggle to provide that type of value to a team.

Mack, like fellow holdout Aaron Donald, has a legitimate case to leapfrog Miller and become the highest-paid defender in the league. But it’s hard to see the Raiders exceeding Miller’s current $19 million benchmark that significantly.

Unless Mack is willing to adjust his lofty salary demand, this ongoing contract saga could potentially play on much longer than either side would like it to.