The Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Chargers announced their candidacy for the biggest trade of the 2022 offseason on Thursday when the Bears traded Khalil Mack to the Chargers for a second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and a sixth-round pick in 2023.
With that in mind, here are the biggest winners—and losers—from the Mack trade.
WINNER: JOEY BOSA
There’s no bigger winner in the Mack draft than Chargers pass-rusher Joey Bosa. Now armed with the ultimate running-mate, the duo of Bosa and Mack instantly becomes the most ferocious since… Mack and Robert Quinn?
Seriously, Los Angeles just leveled up their pass rush in a way that’s going to become the blueprint for competing in a division that fields Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Russell Wilson, and that guy on the Raiders.
Mack should do well when all is said and done, too. Quinn, until the 2021 season, wasn’t great. Opposing offenses still double-teamed Mack whenever they could. That won’t be the case with the Chargers.
LOSER: MATT EBERFLUS
New Bears head coach Matt Eberflus had to have Mack highlighted as one of the benefits of becoming the top coach in Chicago, right? For a defensive-minded coach to have the opportunity to get after the quarterback with one of the NFL’s most respected pass-rushers, it’s the dream come true. Especially when this is your first head coaching gig.
That dream didn’t last long, unfortunately. Now, Eberflus will rely on Quinn and youngster Trevis Gipson as his primary edge rushers in 2022.
WINNER: JUSTIN HERBERT
Anytime a quarterback doesn’t have to face Khalil Mack—ever—it’s a win. It’s an even bigger win knowing that Mack will be haunting the pre-game dreams of your biggest division rivals.
As indirect as it may be, Herbert now has a psychological advantage over Mahomes and Wilson (and Carr, I guess). And that matters. The AFC West is a division defined by its quarterbacks, and Herbert may be the safest—literally, as in out of harm’s way—of the bunch.
LOSER: RAIDERS FANS
Those poor Raiders fans. First, they were forced to watch Mack leave town during the prime years of his career. That stung… badly.
The first-round picks they received back for Mack haven’t been franchise-changers, either. Josh Jacobs is fine but replaceable. Damon Arnette isn’t even on the team. To say they got nothing in return for Mack is sort of true.
Now, four years later, they’re forced to watch Mack wreak havoc on their offense twice per season in the AFC West. It’s like throwing salt in a wound that’s never healed.
WINNER: BEARS’ SALARY CAP
The Bears are in the first full season of the Justin Fields era, and in order to give him the best chance to succeed, Ryan Poles has to surround him with talent. Oftentimes, that comes via free agency and costs a lot of money.
The Bears freed up just over $6 million in 2022 cap space and they’re projected to have more than $120 million in cap room entering the 2023 offseason. In case you didn’t know, that’s a lot of cash.
Chicago might not be big spenders in this year’s free-agent cycle, but because of this trade, they could be next offseason’s biggest winner.
- Aug 08, 2022
- Aug 08, 2022