Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie explains Khalil Mack trade, says they’ll still ‘pay top dollar to top players’

The Raiders shocked the world — including their own players — on Saturday morning when they sent Khalil Mack to the Bears in a blockbuster trade that turned the Bears into fringe playoff contenders and sent the Raiders to the bottom of the food chain. Raiders coach and football czar Jon Gruden won’t speak to reporters until Sunday night, but on Saturday night, general manager Reggie McKenzie offered his version of the decision to trade away his best player.

But first, let’s point out that McKenzie admitted that he will “miss” Mack, which could be important considering Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman already reported that one team executive told him, “It was crystal clear to me that Reggie didn’t want to trade Mack.” And that begs the question: Did McKenzie and Gruden agree on the decision to trade Mack?

It’s also important given the way his players reacted to the trade: mostly with shock.

“It’s going to sting with them,”¬†McKenzie said, per NBC Sports Bay Area. “Players protect themselves and their teammates. That’s how it should be. They’re going to miss Khalil. I’m going to

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