Football

Raiders coach Jon Gruden and ex-coach Jack Del Rio weigh in on holdout Khalil Mack

Oakland Raiders’ Khalil Mack hasn’t reported to training camp and the team will likely break camp without its star defensive end. The Raiders break camp on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 and will return to Alameda after their preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018.
Oakland Raiders’ Khalil Mack hasn’t reported to training camp and the team will likely break camp without its star defensive end. The Raiders break camp on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 and will return to Alameda after their preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. AP Photo

Unless a deal is reached at some point Wednesday, the Oakland Raiders will finish training camp without star defensive end Khalil Mack.

Mack, 27, hasn’t reported to the Raiders since the offseason workouts began in late May as he seeks a contract extension..

The Raiders will break camp on Thursday and will return to Alameda to resume practice after playing the Los Angeles Rams in a preseason game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday.

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said “it hasn’t been a distraction” without having Mack at camp.

“For me, it’s been disappointing,” Gruden said Wednesday in Napa. “Obviously you want to have your best player here. (He’s) really a great guy. It’s disappointing we don’t have him here.”

Just how important is Mack to the Raiders’ defense? Since 2015,Mack has produced double-digit sacks and was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2016.

This week, star rapper Ice Cube wants Mack “get your money, man. Why not?” and the Raiders “are not better team without him.”

Even former Raiders coach Jack Del Rio vowed support for Mack and said the defensive end deserves every penny he can get.

“Gotta pay the man! @52Mack_ is the total package. Great player and an even better person!” Del Rio wrote on Twitter.

There are trade rumors swirling around involving Mack. Even an oddsmaker made the Green Bay Packers the favorite to land the first-round pick from the 2014 NFL Draft.

Gruden is confident Mack will be in silver and black for many years.

“We’re going to get him here as soon as we can,” Gruden said. “In the time being, you’ve got to move on. You’ve got to get up and go to work. I’m proud of what we’ve done here.”

Anthony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, @agalaviz_TheBee
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