Wow. I actually didn’t think any team would be able to offer the Oakland Raiders a good enough trade package for Khalil Mack. And yet, I was proven wrong. This morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke news of a trade that would send 2026 Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears. While it is unknown what the finite details of the trade are as they are apparently still being worked out, the trade will likely include 2 first round picks. This is what the Raiders had ben asking for, and there is more in the package beyond the draft picks.
Since Oakland broke the news that Mack was available for trade, over a dozen teams had been calling in, including the New York Jets, who offered multiple picks, but ultimately the Bears gave the Raiders the best package for Mack. Mack will join a pass rush consisting of 8th overall pick from this year’s draft Roquan Smith and 2016 9th overall pick Leonard Floyd. Last season, Chicago ranked 9th in points allowed as well as 10th in yards allowed, so the addition of Khalil Mack will only increase these numbers.
After the news broke of the trade, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweeted the following:
“Before the end of the day, the #Bears are expected to negotiate a long-term deal with Khalil Mack that should eclipse the deal for Aaron Donald. Either way, Chicago just made a huge move.”
For reference, the other day, Aaron Donald signed a 6-year extension with the Los Angeles Ram worth about $135 million, making his deal the most expensive for a defensive player in NFL history. Well, if Rapoport’s report is correct, Donald’s contract should be beaten later today by Mack’s new one. That was the reason for his departure in the first place; the Raiders simply couldn’t come to an agreement with Mack over a new contract, as he was “looking to become the first non-quarterback to make $20 million per year.” The Raiders, unable to compromise on a deal with Mack, had to ultimately let him go.
Since being drafted 5th overall in 2014, Mack has made quite a name for himself in the NFL. For starters, he has never missed a single game. That’s right; he’s played 16 games every season of his 4-year career. In his first season, he ended with 76 tackles and 4.0 sacks. Then, in 2015, when he was a Pro-Bowler and 1st-Team All-Pro, he ended with 77 tackles and an astounding 15 sacks. In 2016, the year he won Defensive Player of the Year, Mack ended the season with 73 tackles and 11 sacks. And last year, he finished with a career-high 78 tackles and 10.5 sacks. He helped Oakland make the playoffs in 2016 and has potential to be one of the best linebackers of all time if he keeps this up. Remember, in just 4 years in the NFL, he’s made the Pro Bowl 3 times.
The potential for this Bears team, now with the addition of Mack, is sky high. Since this trade, the Bears have gone from 100-1 odds to winning the Super Bowl to 40-1, while the Raiders dropped from 20-1 down to 40-1. Assuming the trade gets finalized, look for the new-look Bears to be one of the best defenses in the NFL.
Feature Image via Flikr/ChadCooperPhotos