When the Chicago Bears struck a deal with the Oakland Raiders for star pass-rusher Khalil Mack, it shook the NFL. The Bears, who already boasted a solid defense, took their unit to another level by making the blockbuster trade. Even more importantly, they had created a pass-rusher which would rival the best in the league.
The deal happened just prior to the start of the 2018 NFL season, and the Bears are now in the playoffs after finishing with a 12-4 record and the NFC North title. When looking back at the trade, it’s become apparent that Chicago is the early winner, and it’s not all that close.
Obviously, there were a lot of assets involved in this trade, so things can still shift, but for the time being, the edge goes to the Bears. Let’s take a look at the trade itself and also how Matt Nagy’s team has come out ahead thus far.
Details of Bears’ Trade for Khalil Mack
Additional pieces of the trade trickled out over time after it was first reported, but the final deal involved quite a few draft picks being moved. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed, the Bears gave up two first-round selections (2019, 2020) a 2020 third-rounder and a 2019 sixth-rounder. In return, Chicago got Mack, a 2020 second-round pick and a conditional 2020 fifth-round selection.
One of the biggest surprises of the trade comes from the fact that for whatever reason, the Raiders sent a second-round pick back to Chicago as part of the deal. This obviously hurt the outlook of Jon Gruden’s team right out of the gate, but the edge for the Bears goes far beyond that.
How Bears Are Winning Blockbuster Khalil Mack Trade
The situation with the draft picks is big, with the Bears getting a second-round selection, it makes the third they gave away meaningless. But more specifically, the two first-rounders Oakland picked up look like they’re going to be very low, at least this season. With the Beras winning 12 games, they hold the No. 27 pick at this point, as Tankathon shows.
Although this year’s pick is quickly falling further and further down in the first round, everything going on around Chicago only makes the outlook even better for the Bears. As Mack’s new team continues to get better and look like the class of the division, there are question marks looming with the other teams.
The Green Bay Packers fired head coach Mike McCarthy during the season and finished with a 6-9-1 record. Chicago’s toughest competition for the division title in the Minnesota Vikings has their fair share of questions moving forward also. It seems likely the Vikings will remain the team who’ll rival their chances at another division title next year, but the Bears look to be far and away the best team of the bunch.
All of this points to Chicago likely having a low first-round pick again in the 2020 NFL Draft, barring something major happening this offseason.
Khalil Mack’s Production
Raiders fans had to endure the dominance of Mack all season after seeing their best player shipped out of town. The Bears were a focus in the national spotlight and although the 27-year-old pass-rusher missed two games, he still managed to have one of the best seasons of his young career.
Through 14 games, Mack totaled 47 combined tackles, 12.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, four passes defensed and one interception. The sack total is good for his second most in a single season while the forced fumbles are the most of his career.
A few weeks into the 2018 NFL season, many fans began watching how Mack’s sack total compared to his former team’s total number. The Raiders struggled mightily to get a pass-rush going this season and ranked last in the league by a wide margin with just 13 sacks. So while they did finish with more than their former star, they were a full 17 sacks behind the next-worst team in the league.