First year head coach Matt Nagy, second year Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and returning defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, now add in the blockbuster deal for Oakland Raiders Khalil Mack, and the Chicago Bears are onto something.
Chicago has always been known for nasty, physical defenses with guys like Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher anchoring the line-backing corp and captaining the defense. The Bears have done just that with the addition of Khalil Mack one of the league’s most dangerous and hard-hitting defenders along with drafting Georgia’s Roquan Smith in the first round of this year’s draft. The Bears also have a former top-10 pick on the edge in Leonard Floyd rushing opposite Mack.
Mack has 40.5 career sacks, and his 185.5 quarterback pressures since coming into the league in 2014 lead the NFL in that time frame, according to Pro Football Focus. He was also the Defensive Player of the Year during the 2016 season and had a “down year” in 2017 with 10.5 sacks. He was holding out from off-season workouts through training camp after his fifth-year option was exercised and reports said he had never even met with new Raiders coach Jon Gruden. The writing was on the wall for a trade, and the Bears struck at the opportune time right before the season to land their guy.
According to multiple reports, Chicago has also been given a window to negotiate a massive contract extension with Mack that will make him the highest paid defensive player in league history, usurping the deal the Rams just gave Aaron Donald. A hefty price for Chicago with two first-rounders and a lucrative extension, but it’s one that puts the Bears franchise back in the playoff hunt in the NFC and makes them a contender for the next few years, at the very least.
The Raiders, with their pending move to Las Vegas, have significantly weakened their defense by failing to re-sign the star defender then making the move to trade him away and many current players including their franchise Quarterback, have reacted to the trade.
Khalil Mack shifts the power of the NFC North with four viable franchises now and may turn that division into one of the best in the game. Along with Derek Carr, there are at least three other QB’s not happy to see Mack shipped to Chicago and they are Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins. All three star QB’s will now have to face Mack twice a year bearing down on them with Floyd opposite and Smith up the middle.
Chicagoan’s are overjoyed with the addition of Khalil Mack, and they have every right to be. Da Bears are back on da map.