Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Teams May Try Trading For Khalil Mack This Offseason

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Khalil Mack is done for the season. That really hurts the Chicago Bears defense. He was their best player all year and that was despite dealing with nagging injuries. The man had six sacks in seven games. Without him, their pass rush has suffered and will continue to suffer. Not to mention his always underrated presence against the run. Perhaps fans will get a better appreciation for how good the 30-year old is with him gone.



Nevertheless, this situation calls into question what Mack’s future with the organization could be. With the defense aging and in decline, coupled with the presence of Justin Fields, some wonder if it’s time for the Bears to start the rebuilding process. That means shedding as many big contracts as they can in hopes of collecting present and future cap space. Jason Fitzgerald, found of Over The Cap, believes there is a possibility teams will come after Macks this offseason.

Would the Bears be open to trading him?

It ultimately comes down to how much dead money they’re willing to eat. The team is already projected to shoulder lots of it in 2022 when they try to move on from the likes of Danny Trevathan, Nick Foles, and Jimmy Graham. Are they prepared to shoulder such a massive hit of $27 million just so Mack will play elsewhere? That may come down to what other teams offer for his services.

While not a young man anymore and nursing an injury, there is no doubt Mack remains one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. He was proving it all season before he went on the shelf. There are reasons to think he will return to that form once fully healthy next year. So it is possible the Bears could get a favorable return for him. They could also wait until after June 1st when the dead money hit would fall to just over $12 million. The trade-off being their picks wouldn’t come until 2023.

Smart money say Khalil Mack will stay put

While trading him does make some sense from a long-term perspective, the reality is the Bears likely won’t get the return they’d want. Unless a team is willing to offer a 1st round pick, eating $27 million in dead cap just isn’t worth it. Mack can still be a major part of the defense in 2022. Especially if the organization can find more help at cornerback to assist Jaylon Johnson.

Most don’t debate the belief that Khalil Mack will be in the Hall of Fame someday. He is just 23.5 sacks away from 100 for his career. Presuming favorable health, he can reach that goal within the next two or three years. It would be nice if he were able to retire a Bear and go into Canton wearing navy blue. Perhaps he could stick around long enough to see what becomes of Justin Fields at quarterback.

As always, this is unpredictable.

Much of it depends on who is calling the shots at the top. GM Ryan Pace may not be in charge come January. A new regime tends to prefer building a roster made up of players they want. That could mean Mack’s time in Chicago is winding down.



Erik Lambert
Educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College in Chicago, Erik has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.

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