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"I would trade everybody else": Several Broncos share their honest reaction to the Khalil Mack trade

Ryan Koenigsberg Avatar
September 13, 2018

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Oakland Raiders shocked the football world last week when they actually pulled the trigger and traded franchise player Khalil Mack.

In return, Oakland received first-round picks in 2019 and 2020, a third-round pick in 2020 and a sixth-round pick in 2019 to acquire Mack earlier Saturday. Much to the surprise of many, though, the Raiders also sent a second-round pick in 2020 and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2020, along with Mack, to Chicago.

In his first game as a Bear, Mack was utterly dominant, posting one sack, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, a pass breakup, an interception and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Oakland struggled to get after Los Angeles Rams’ QB Jared Goff.

On Thursday in the Broncos locker room, BSN Denver asked several Broncos—especially pass rushers—to give us their honest, instant reaction to the news when they saw it, along with some follow-ups.

Shane Ray

On his instant reaction to the trade

“Me, personally, when I think about edge rushers and outside guys at my position, it starts with 58 (Von Miller). Obviously, he is the best at our position. But then you have 52 (Khalil Mack) who is almost equally as disruptive, just a different style. You get rid of a player like that, I mean, his work speaks for itself. You see the instant impact that the Raiders had as far as their pass rush with him being gone and kind of leaving the whole role to Bruce [Irvin]. Bruce is a great rusher, he’s been great for years but you take out a guy like Khalil Mack, and that’s crazy. I would never have let Khalil Mack go. I would have found some way to keep him. No disrespect to anyone else, but I would trade everybody else on that team before I would trade Khalil Mack.”

On what it would do to the Broncos if the team traded Von Miller a weak before the season

“It would take the air out of the defense, I feel like. That’s our guy, that’s our defensive leader, that’s a hall-of-fame caliber player. If you traded Von a week before the season, that’s a huge gap, bro. Like, that’s a gap that you can’t just say, ‘Oh, we’ll just replace him.’ It doesn’t work like that; you don’t find guys like that all the time, they don’t just fall out of the sky. Khalil, Von, they’re as good as it gets. I would have never let him go. Ever.”

Shaq Barrett

On his instant reaction to the trade

“There were already rumors, so I figured it was going to happen eventually, but it just doesn’t make any sense. That’s a once-in-a-decade talent, and they just pass him up because they don’t want to pay him the money he deserves and the money that he earned. It’s just mind-blowing to me.”

On how their defense looked without Mack

“They missed him. They missed him in the first game for sure. Especially his production that he had with Chicago in that first game, if they would have had that against LA, they would have probably won that game. I know they miss him.”

Bradley Chubb

On his instant reaction to the trade

“Oh, I was like, ‘Damn, for real? How are you gonna trade a player like that?’ I mean, a lot of different teams have different things that they want to do with their roster and stuff, and I guess the Raiders felt like he wasn’t a fit for them anymore. Like I’ve said. Khalil was one of the guys I looked up to coming out of college, and I still watch all his film now. I’m just excited to see what he does with the Bears now.”

On Mack’s performance in Week 1

“I was watching the game with my family, and he’s making play after play after play, and I’m just like, ‘Man, I wish I could see this guy next week and just shake his hand, meet him and all that.'”

Von Miller

On his reaction to the trade

“It’s weird. Every time we have these divisional games, it doesn’t matter if it’s the Chiefs, Chargers or the Raiders. There is always a guy on the other side that I’ve been playing. There’s another big-time rusher on the other side that I know and that I talked to before the game. We battle it out, from [Chiefs OLB] Justin Houston, [Chargers DE] Joey Bosa and [Chargers DE] Melvin Ingram, to Khalil and [Raiders DE] Bruce Irvin. Khalil is gone, we all know that, but they’ve still got Bruce. It’ll be a little bit weird. I mean, that was the Raiders. It was [Raiders QB] Derek Carr and Khalil Mack. So, it’s a little bit different, but that’s the league.”

Emmanuel Sanders

On his instant reaction to the trade

“I was stunned but happy at the same time. If that’s what they want to do, then they can do it. Get him out of the AFC West, you know? I was kind of happy about it.”

Todd Davis

On his instant reaction to the trade

“You know, I was really surprised. I mean, he’s a great, great player, a gamechanger. It’s funny to see what he did Week 1 with the Bears. I was really, honestly surprised because of all that he’s done. You know, Pro Bowler at two positions, I was shocked… I’m happy for him. I feel like he ended up where he wanted to be as far as the money he got and the situation he’s in. I’m happy for him; I hope that everybody has the opportunity to get paid whether it’s the team you’re with or another team that wants to pay you.”

DeMarcus Walker

On his instant reaction to the trade

“You know, I was wowed, you know what I’m sayin’? I was just wowed like everybody else. It’s a business, and I was just wowed. It’s a business, man, it’s a business. I’m just glad Case doesn’t have to see that guy anymore.”

Vance Joseph

On his reaction to the trade

“Good for us, I guess. Good for all of us. He’s obviously a great player, but he’s no longer with the Raiders. He’s with Chicago. We don’t play Chicago, so that’s the story.”

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