Green Bay really wanted to trade for Khalil Mack last year, but Oakland apparently thought the Packers were too good, so to speak.
A little explanation is in order. As reported last summer, Green Bay was one of the front-runners to land the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year. The Raiders, of course, ended up trading Mack to the Bears for first-round picks in 2019 and 2020, a third-round pick in 2020 and a sixth-round pick in 2019.
Green Bay President and CEO Mark Murphy told 105.7 The Fan in Milwaukee that the Packers “aggressively” pursued Mack, but he thinks the Raiders assumed the Packers would finish with a better record than the Bears last year, and thus the Bears would have a better draft position.
“Well the whole Khalil Mack thing. It’s not that we didn’t try,” Murphy said. “We were aggressive. We wanted to sign him. I think, ironically, the Raiders took the Bears offer because they thought they would be a better draft pick.”
We all know what happened after the trade. The Bears, thanks in large part to Mack, went on to finish 12-4 and win the NFC Central. The Packers finished 6-9-1. As a result, Green Bay had the 12th overall pick, while the Raiders ended up picking 24th with the pick they acquired from Chicago for Mack.
Murphy did concede that it might not have made financial sense for the Packers to acquire Mack, who ended up signing a six-year deal reportedly worth $141 million, after signing quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a record-breaking four-year, $134 million deal.
“I don’t know if it is good to have the highest-paid offensive player in the league, and the highest-paid defensive player in the league,” Murphy said. “Is that a good way to build a team?”