Mack of the Midway

The Bears trade changes the face of their defense

by Contributing NFL writer Brian Akins @BrianWNML

Edge-rusher and 3-time Pro-Bowler Khalil Mack agreed to a six-year, $141 million contract with the Chicago Bears.  The Bears in a trade with the Raiders sent a 2019 first-round pick, 2020 first-round pick, 2020 third-round pick and a 2019 sixth-round pick to the Raiders.  In return, the Bears received the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year, a 2020 second-round pick and a conditional 2020 fifth-round pick.

Mack’s deal is the largest for a defensive player in NFL history – the deal is worth $141 million in total with $60 million at signing and $90 million guaranteed.  The deal averages a total of $23.5 million per year.

Khalil Mack totaled 10.5 sacks and a career-high 61 tackles in 2017.  He joins a defense that boasts a load of potential on the defensive front.  The Bears have Leonard Floyd, Akiem Hicks, Roquan Smith and Danny Trevethan on the defensive side of the ball.  Now they have added Khalil Mack as an edge rusher to help this defense which ranked 10th in total defense in 2017.

I think that the Bears addition of Khalil Mack will be highly beneficial to the defense.  I believe that having Mack as an edge-rusher will prove to be a successful move for the Bears that will result in a career high number of sacks for Mack.  With Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks on the defensive line, that will help Mack and Roquan Smith run free at the opposing quarterback.

The acquisition of Mack was a great addition, but I am a bit skeptical about Chicago giving up two first-round picks, a third-round pick and a sixth-round pick.  I believe that may be an issue for the Bears going forward that could potentially hurt them in obtaining talent.

Overall, I believe Chicago will have an opportunity to have one of the top defenses in the NFL, and I believe that Khalil Mack will climb to the top of the sack list and be a fourth-time Pro-Bowler.

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