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ALAMEDA – Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack is the highest NFL draft pick to sign his rookie contract. The No. 5 overall pick signed a fully-guaranteed, four-year, $18.67 million deal on Thursday after checking in to Raiders rookie minicamp.
While there’s little room to negotiate with the NFL’s relatively new rookie wage scale, Mack wanted to put business behind him right away.
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“I’m only focused on football and being the best player I can be,” Mack said. “I’m glad that process is done, and I’m ready to go play football.”
While most NFL rookies will sign before training camp – holdouts are largely a thing of the past now – Mack made a point to find extremely early resolution.
The Raiders appreciated the gesture, and believe it says something about his desire to focus on the game.
“He’s of the mindset, and his family was of the mindset that they wanted to get all that out of the way, get that settled and just concentrate on football,” head coach Dennis Allen said. “He is certainly a football-first guy. He not only is a tremendous athlete, but he’s the type of guy that we’re looking for from a personal character standpoint and a football character standpoint.”
Friday’s workout also impressed Allen, who got to see Mack practice live, albeit without pads, for the first time.
“It’s hard to get a great feel for a player when you just see him on tape, but to get real up close and personal and see him live, you get a good feel for who he is,” Allen said. “He’s exactly what we thought he was going to be. He’s got a lot of work ahead of him. He’s got a lot of getting better to do, but he’s got a tremendous skill set and I would expect a pretty quick assimilation into the NFL.”