New Bears Trade Pitch Brings $141 Million All-Pro Back to Chicago for Day 3 Pick

Khalil Mack

Getty Khalil Mack is rumored to be on the trade block once again. Is a reunion with the Chicago Bears possible?

Khalil Mack spent four memorable seasons with the Chicago Bears, from 2018 until 2021. He was named an All-Pro twice and made the Pro Bowl three times in his tenure in the Windy City.

Mack was traded to the Los Angeles Chargers in 2022, shortly after Bears general manager Ryan Poles took over the job. One analyst thinks Poles might be willing to bring Mack back for at least one more year.

The 33rd Team’s Dan Pizzuta put together a list of “trade ideas for teams that struggled in 2023 and could use a boost.” He cites Chicago’s need for another edge rusher coupled with Los Angeles’s need for cap space as reasons this trade could be possible.

A Closer Look at the 33rd Team’s Bears-Chargers Trade Idea

“The Bears have cap space and could use another pass rusher to pair with Montez Sweat. Chicago showed it has no problem making aggressive trades when it acquired Sweat at the deadline,” Pizzuta wrote, adding:

“Mack shouldn’t cost more than a Day 3 pick due to his age (33) and one year remaining on his contract. Chicago would take on his $17.55 million salary for 2024 and potentially the roster bonus.”

Mack is in the final year of the six-year, $141 million contract he signed with Chicago when he came to town in 2018. Pizzuta believes the Bears could still address their pass rushing needs via the draft while also adding Mack.

“Chicago doesn’t have much edge depth outside of Sweat, and Mack’s addition would not force them to forgo drafting a pass rusher,” he wrote. “That’s crucial since that value comes more in the Day 2 range rather than the top-10 picks the Bears own.”

There have also also been whisperings of teams being interested in trading for Mack. In February, ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler reported that “multiple teams I’ve spoken to have an eye on” Mack as a trade possibility (h/t Bleacher Report). With new Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh now taking the reins in L.A., Mack’s future in Los Angeles remains a question mark.

Would Ryan Poles, Bears Be Interested in a Khalil Mack Reunion Via Trade?

Would Poles really be willing to spend draft picks on a player he traded not long ago? That’s extremely unlikely, as it’s just not something the Bears GM has shown a capacity for.

Poles has made his share of trades, including the addition of Sweat last season. But he hasn’t given up draft capital for any players over the age of 30. Adding a player he sent packing only two years ago just doesn’t seem feasible.

Mack’s final season with the Bears was a disappointing one. He missed 10 games due to a foot injury, although he did finish with 6.0 sacks in seven games that year. In his two seasons with the Chargers, the veteran pass rusher has been durable, not missing a single game. He has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons, getting named a second-team All-Pro in 2023.

Last season, Mack finished with 74 tackles (21 for loss), 22 QB hits,.5 forced fumbles, 10 passes defensed and a career-high 17.0 sacks.

Mack still has plenty to offer, to be sure, but if Poles and the Bears are going to spend in the $17-20 million range on a pass rusher, it’ll likely be someone along the lines of Danielle Hunter.