Raiders Rumors: 'No Optimism' Regarding Khalil Mack Contract Talks

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 25: Khalil Mack #52 of the Oakland Raiders smiles prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 25, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The end of Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack’s holdout is reportedly nowhere in sight.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported he asked about Mack's situation and was "told there is no progress. No optimism. No communication. And so, the holdout continues."

Mack is set to play on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract and would become an unrestricted free agent in 2019 with his current deal, per Spotrac.

This comes after Adam Schefter of ESPN reported on Thursday that Raiders head coach Jon Gruden hasn't spoken with Mack since he was hired into his position this offseason.

However, the coach said otherwise during an interview with JT The Brick of Fox Sports Radio (h/t John Breech of CBS Sports). "I did speak with him when I got the job," Gruden said. "When I first got hired, I spoke with him."

Gruden acknowledged he hasn't recently spoken with Mack.

"He's been a hard guy to get in contact with lately, for obvious reasons," Gruden said. "This is a great football player—not only that, he's a great guy. And everybody on our team respects him and loves him. We hope to get him in here soon."

The Athletic's John Middlekauff added some context to the negotiations, noting things between Mack's side and the team have grown "ugly" and "tense."

Mack has played like someone worthy of a raise since the Raiders selected him with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 draft out of Buffalo. He quickly established himself as a defensive stalwart in Oakland's front seven and is yet to miss a game.

He was named the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year, is a two-time First Team All-Pro selection and was a Pro Bowler in each of the last three campaigns. He has already tallied 40.5 sacks in his career and reached double-digit sacks in each of those Pro Bowl seasons.

Mack is one of the elite pass-rushers in the entire league and wants to be paid accordingly, but progress has apparently stalled.