Trade Grade: Chicago Bears Trade Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers

Image Credit (Mike Dinovo/USA Today Sports)

The NFL Free Agency period is not officially starting until March 16 and my goodness the NFL has announced 3 big trades. The first two involved the Quarterback position but this one is a little bit different as it focuses on the defensive side of the ball. The deal was reached between both the Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago Bears involving DE/EDGE Khalil Mack.

Los Angeles Chargers Acquire: DE/EDGE Khalil Mack
Chicago Bears Acquire: 2022 2nd Round Pick and 2023 6th Round Pick

Los Angeles Chargers Side

The Los Angeles Chargers pass rushing core just got scarier with this move. Not only do teams have to deal with Joey Bosa facing this team but now have to have Khalil Mack on the other side. The Chargers needed to grow and strengthen their pass rush with Russell Wilson now a part of the Denver Broncos. Plus, it would be a plus to help deal with Derek Carr and Patrick Mahomes. Mack is a terrific talent and will be a big boost to this defense.

Now while there are a lot of positives in this deal, I have two problems with the Chargers making this deal. The first is that the Los Angels Chargers will apparently be paying the entire contract of Khalil Mack. Mack’s cap hit for 2022 is 17.75 million, for 2023 it is 22.90 million, and for 2024 it is 23.25 million. The second is that Mack could have massive regression soon. Mack has turned 31 and he has been dealing with injuries. Hopefully this works out with the Chargers as there are risks in acquiring Mack but there are big benefits if this deal works out.

Chicago Bears Side

This is the type of move that a rebuilding team would make. It makes a lot of sense why the Bears would part ways with Khalil Mack via trade. First of course, is to get more draft capital as obviously the Bears 1st round pick is New York Giants property due to the Justin Fields trade. So now the Bears get an extra 2nd round pick and another late-round draft choice to utilize for next year. Secondly, Mack would have been a poor fit in Matt Eberflus’s system. Eberflus normally runs a 4-3 system and Mack at times struggled during his rookie season in Oakland due to the Raiders implementing a 4-3 system. He fits well in a 3-4 system which the Chargers have with Brandon Staley as the head coach. Third and most importantly, they save around 6.1 million in salary cap that can help them bring in talent via free agency to build around Justin Fields and the defense.

Grades for Khalil Mack Trade
Los Angeles Chargers: B+
Chicago Bears: B

I think this is a win-win trade for both teams here. I have to give leverage to the Chargers, but it was a close one. Mack has a huge boost for the Charger’s defense, especially with the pass rush along with Joey Bosa. The Chicago Bears get cap space and extra draft capital to play with for a player that could regress a lot in the next few years. Overall great move by Chicago Bears GM Ryan Poles and Los Angeles Chargers GM Tom Telesco.

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