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Khalil Mack trade grades Bears sell low in salary dump while

Another day, another blockbuster NFL trade.

Richard Sherman Jersey This time, the Bears sent edge-rusher Khalil Mack back to the AFC West, where he will hope to continue wreaking havoc with the Chargers. Chicago in return received a second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and sixth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.


It might be easy to a sume the Chargers won this trade at first glance a second- and sixth-round pick for Khalil Mack? Really? but the decision actually seems beneficial for both Los Angeles and Chicago.

Only time will tell which or either of these teams win this trade. Until then, The Sporting News breaks down the reasoning and trade grades for both:

Khalil Mack trade grades

Chargers receive:

EDGE Khalil Mack

Bears receive:

2022 second-round pick2023 sixth-round pickChargers grade: B+

If this trade were made a year or two earlier, then Los Angeles' grade would be an A+. As it stands now, Mack is 31 years old and coming off a foot surgery that caused him to mi s all but seven games in 2021.

That said, Mack was a consistent pa s-rushing force for the Bears. He compiled 36 sacks over 53 games in Chicago, compared to 40.5 sacks in 64 games with the Raiders. Indeed, his per-game sack rate with the Bears was slightly higher with the Bears than it was in Oakland: .67 sacks per game, compared to .63 per game.

Mack showed no signs of slowing down in 2021, despite Bradley McDougald Jersey suffering a Week 3 foot injury in 2021 that kept him limited or out of practice entirely over the four weeks: games in which he recorded three sacks. He was ultimately forced to mi s the remainder of the season with foot surgery.

His production in limited action last season (he also had 19 tackles, six tackles for lo s and seven quarterback hits) was clearly enough to warrant the attention of the Chargers, who could use an edge-rusher opposite Joey Bosa to get after the Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, Raiders' Derek Carr and, now, .

The Jarran Reed Jersey Chargers no longer need to worry about pursuing Rams linebacker Von Miller and have a replacement for Uchenna Nwosu, a free agent who in 2021 ranked second on Los Angeles' defense with five sacks (behind Bosa's mark of 10.5 sacks). Mack has a $30.15 million cap hit in 2022, a mark the Chargers can withstand with a reported cap space of $42.31 million, per . It's also worth noting the Chargers were first-hand witne ses as the hometown Rams' win-now free agency and trade moves resulted in the ultimate prize: a win in Super Bowl 56.

If Bosa and Mack can both stay healthy in 2022, they could become one of the NFL's best pa s-rushing tandems if not the best.


Bears grade: B

As crazy as it seems, Phil Haynes Jersey the Bears picked a decent time to move on from Mack, a three-time Pro Bowler and 2018 first-team All-Pro selection in Chicago. He clearly had no drop off in production in 2021, even with a foot injury.

That freak athleticism was enough to warrant a 2022 second-round pick and 2023 sixth-round pick numbers that seem astronomically low compared to the price Chicago paid for him in 2018: two first-round picks (2019, '20 NFL drafts), one third-round pick (2020) and one sixth-round draft pick (2019).

That said, the Bears had to take Mack's age into consideration, as well as the injury he suffered in 2021. If Mack remains healthy and productive, this grade may lower but there's no guarantee of either, making it a good-not-great return for the vaunted pa s-rusher.

That said, there's more to the Bears' move than just moving on from one of the NFL's most feared defenders: He was set to command a $30.15 million cap hit 14.36 percent of the Bears' cap space in 2022. The Bears had $23.6 million in cap space prior to the trade, per .

It's not as if the C. J. Prosise Jersey Bears don't have a replacement in mind for Mack, either. He's already on the roster: 2020 fifth-round pick Trevis Gipson, who started the nine games Mack mi sed due to injury and racked up seven sacks. It remains to be seen whether Gipson can maintain that pace in 2022, but he is a considerably cheaper option with the upside to soften the lo s of Mack on defense.

Besides, the cap space the Bears saved plus the 48th overall pick they received from the Chargers make it po sible to shore up the defense in the 2022 NFL Draft. Per Vinnie Iyer's , there are eight edge rushers worth picking in the second round alone. The Bears will have no shortage of talent there to replace Mack.

It's never ideal moving on from a defensive player the caliber of Mack, even considering his age and injury from Tedric Thompson Jersey 2021. But the Bears had the financial need and players already on the roster for the move to make as much sense as po sible.


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