The AFC West was turned upside down earlier in the week when the Denver Broncos traded for Russell Wilson. The worst team in the division got significantly better overnight. Well, the shocking trades didn’t stop with the Broncos and this latest one will hit close to home for Las Vegas Raiders fans.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Los Angeles Chargers are acquiring defensive end Khalil Mack in a trade with the Chicago Bears.
The Bears will be receiving the Chargers’ 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 sixth-round pick, per Schefter.
This will be the second time that Mack has been traded. After four dominant years with the Raiders, former head coach Jon Gruden traded him to the Bears for two first-round picks and a third-round pick. It was a move that was met with ire from Raiders fans. He was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 while with the team and made the Pro Bowl in three of four years. The Raiders will now be forced to play against him twice a year.
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Raiders Fans Aren’t Happy Mack Is Going to Chargers
Mack was an absolute star when he was with the Raiders. He was the best defensive player the team had in years. He was on a Hall of Fame trajectory when he was with the team. Giving him up in a trade destroyed the team’s pass rush and it took years to fix. The team now has Maxx Crosby, who may be even better than Mack at this point in their careers.
However, Raiders fans are still very upset about the news. Losing Mack was hard enough but now having to see him in a Chargers jersey is going to hurt a lot more. Needless to say, Raiders fans didn’t react positively.
Mack is coming off his worst season as a pro. He played just seven games and only notched 6.0 sacks. He could come back with a vengeance now that he shares a defensive line with Joey Bosa.
How Will Raiders Respond to AFC West Moves?
The Chiefs are already Super Bowl contenders, the Broncos added their biggest missing piece at quarterback and now the Chargers might have the best pass-rushing duo in the NFL. As of now, the Raiders haven’t done anything. Signing wide receiver Davante Adams would’ve been an answer to these big moves but he got franchise tagged by the Green Bay Packers.
The next couple of weeks will be quite telling for Las Vegas. If the Raiders come out swinging and sign a big name like cornerback J.C. Jackson, it’s a sign that the plan is to compete for the AFC West title this year. If the team goes bargain hunting and mostly stays put, it could mean that new head coach Josh McDaniels is looking to have a bit of a rebuilding year. Owner Mark Davis and McDaniels have said that the plan isn’t to rebuild. Plans could change with the AFC West becoming the toughest division in the NFL overnight.