Why Khalil Mack believes Raiders turned down 49ers’ trade offer originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
The 49ers were a long shot to acquire superstar pass rusher Khalil Mack in a trade with the then-Oakland Raiders in 2018.
Before the Raiders traded Mack and draft picks to the Chicago Bears for two first-round picks five years ago, the 49ers were one of the teams interested in acquiring the outside linebacker.
Mack appeared on a recent episode of the “Green Light” podcast with former Bears teammate Chris Long, where he discussed the move and why he believes the Raiders were not willing to trade him to San Francisco, even if the 49ers had submitted the best offer.
“And then you see they sent me to Chicago, which perceivably was supposed to be the worse option,” Mack said. “I thought San Fran was one of the top offers. I feel like they offered technically the best deal but they wouldn’t take it from San Fran because they knew the potential of what could be or what could happen.”
The 49ers’ defense was on the rise in 2018 and already featured stars like Fred Warner, DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, Richard Sherman and Jaquiski Tartt.
Shortly after Mack was traded to the Bears, 49ers general manager John Lynch told 95.7 The Game that he believes San Francisco had made the best offer.
“I continue to (believe that we offered more for Mack),” Lynch said in 2018. “That, at times, leads me to believe, were we ever in consideration? I understand the thought of sending him right across The Bay — I don’t know how that factored in — but it is what it is.”
In four seasons with the Raiders, Mack registered 40.5 sacks, 304 combined tackles, 68 tackles for a loss and 84 quarterback hits while being named to three Pro Bowls and taking home the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2016.
Mack had a phenomenal first season with the Bears in 2018, recording 12.5 sacks before his production dropped off in the following three seasons. Mack was traded to the Los Angeles Chargers before the 2022 season.
Fortunately for the 49ers, a superstar pass rusher fell into their laps after the 2018 season. San Francisco, with the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, selected Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa, who went on to become one of, if not the best defensive players in the league.
Had the 49ers acquired Mack at the time, while keeping the second pick in the draft, San Francisco’s defensive line would have featured a former and future Defensive Player of the Year rushing the quarterback.