The Khalil Mack trade comes full circle for the Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

New Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Poles is shaking things up with the recent trade to send Edge Rusher Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers for a 2022 2nd rounder and 2023 sixth-round pick.

Four years ago, the Chicago Bears made a blockbuster trade to acquire Khalil Mack from the Las Vegas Raiders (formally the Oakland Raiders). Now, four years later, the Bears are sending him back to the AFC West but to the Los Angeles Chargers for a 2nd round pick in 2022 and a 6th round pick in 2023.

When the Bears decided to make the move to acquire Mack, former Bears general manager Ryan Pace was making it with the thought in mind that he felt the team was ready to compete for a championship. So, he took advantage of a quarterback on a rookie contract in Mitch Trubisky.

For new GM Ryan Poles, the decision to move on from Mack made too much sense despite the fan’s emotional attachment to the edge rusher.

Khalil Mack’s departure is his tenure coming around full circle for the Chicago Bears.

You are coming off a 6-11 season and heading into the offseason with very few picks and although a decent amount of cap space, a lot of holes to fill with only 20+ players under contract. Although you eat 24 million in dead cap, the Bears get 6.5 million in savings.

The biggest reward will come in 2023. The Bears are slated to have approximately 121 million in cap space. There is more than enough to shape the roster into a contender. 2022, Poles is using to build the foundation of the roster and clean up past mistakes from the previous GM.

If he thought that this team was close to contending for a Super Bowl, Mack would still be here. The move indicates that he does not view the roster in the same light as most fans. The harsh truth is while many of us love Mack as a player, he simply was not living up to the contract that was given to him four years ago. After the 2018 season, he has been on a decline.

Mack was once viewed as the best defensive player in the league but we now begin to see him barely crack most National media’s top ten edge rushers with each year. At the same time, we cannot fault Pace for making the deal.

It was the right move to make at the time with how the roster was setting up, with a young QB at the time on a rookie contract. In hindsight, the Bears still won the trade despite it not living up to expectations when it was made.

The Mack trade was Pace’s signature move in his tenure and now Poles trading away the 31-year old vet edge rusher is his. For Bears fans, we are starting to see a shift in the priorities of the roster.

Despite the hiring of a defensive coach, Poles very likely want to shift most of the money on the offensive side of the ball. Throwing money and resources at the offensive line, wide receiver, etc. might be the new key. The writing is on the wall that this team will be built around Justin Fields, the right way.

5 reasons the Chicago Bears were right to trade Khalil Mack. light. Related Story