Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers heading in different directions

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears made a statement on Saturday by trading for Khalil Mack, but the move may have also signaled a changing of the guard.

The Chicago Bears made big news over the weekend when they traded for Oakland Raiders All-Pro and 2016 Defensive Player of the Year, Khalil Mack. The move was another bold one in a long list of aggressive moves from Ryan Pace this offseason.

Immediately following the end of the regular season, Pace fired John Fox, the coach whom he hired just weeks into his job as general manager. It continued with his selection of Matt Nagy, a bright, talented but unproven offensive mind to lead his team.

Then, Pace aggressively (and successfully) pursued his top free agent targets, including Trey Burton, Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Prince Amukamara, and even Kyle Fuller. The full-throttle offseason approach culminated on Saturday with the acquisition of Mack.

The move signaled to the Bears players and fans a shift in philosophy. If the Bears were still in anything resembling a “rebuild” they put the finishing touches on that Saturday and are ready to move in.

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However, the move was important for another reason. It also signaled an inflection point in the Bears’ rivalry with the Green Bay Packers. While the feeling has been building all offseason, it’s starting to seem as though the Bears are trending up while the Packers could be in the final stages of their competitive window. We evaluate why the Bears and Packers seem to be trending in different directions.