Bears Sending Khalil Mack Back to AFC in ‘Massive’ Trade: Report

Khalil Mack

Getty The Bears are sending Khalil Mack to the Chargers in exchange for draft picks.

In one of the biggest trades of the 2022 offseason, the Chicago Bears are working sending superstar pass rusher Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers, as first reported by NFL insider Adam Schefter.

Insider Ian Rapoport noted the compensation received in exchange for Mack was “prime,” stating Chicago was getting a Round 2 pick in 2022 and a Round 6 selection next year. Rapoport called the trade a “massive” one, and he’s not wrong. Mack, a three-time All-Pro, will now head to L.A. to play alongside four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Joey Bosa in what should immediately become a top-five defense with Mack’s addition.

Mack, who turned 31 in February, is coming off a 2021 campaign in which he played just seven games after he had season-ending foot surgery in November. Prior to the surgery, Mack had 6.0 sacks, seven QB hits and looked to be going on a tear. How he’ll look after his recovery is still a question mark, but he should still be a dominant force.

New Bears general manager Ryan Poles had no attachments to the superstar linebacker, though, and now, Poles has made his first huge move — and it’s one that will come to define his tenure in Chicago.

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Mack Will Reunite With Chargers Coach Brandon Staley

In Los Angeles, Mack will be reunited with Chargers head coach Brandon Staley, who served as the Bears’ outside linebackers coach from 2017-18. Mack had his best statistical season with the Bears under Staley that year, and the two promise to work well together again in L.A.

In his four seasons with the Bears, Mack played in 53 games, starting 52. He was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2018, when he finished with 47 tackles (10 for loss), six forced fumbles, an interception, 18 QB hits, 12.5 sacks and a defensive score. He amassed 14 forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, 52 QB hits and 36.0 sacks.

He and Bosa, who has 58.0 sacks in his five NFL seasons, promise to be a terrifying tandem for opposing quarterbacks.

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Chargers Take on Mack’s Hefty Contract, Bears Still Left With Dead Money

Rapoport also noted the Chargers would be taking on the rest of Mack’s sizable $63.9 million contract, which should free up some valuable cap space.

That said, there will be $24 million in dead money left from Mack’s deal the Bears must still pay in 2022. Per Spotrac, Chicago currently has around $29 million in available cap space, so the team will still feel the sting from Mack’s contract financially, at least this coming season. However, in 2023, the Bears will see $28 million added to their cap, which is huge.

While Mack is still a force to be reckoned with, his production has declined in recent seasons. He hasn’t registered double-digit sacks since his first season with the team, when he had 12.5. He has had 23.5 since. The Bears now have two picks in the top 50 in the 2022 draft, but they’re also down one pass rusher. We’ll see how it all plays out.

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