It’s only been one-eighth of a regular season — a nod to former Bears head coach Lovie Smith — and yet the Khalil Mack trade is inarguably paying dividends for Bears general manager Ryan Pace and the Chicago Bears.
Mack has already registered two sacks, two forced fumbles, one interception, and one touchdown. Additionally, his presence has helped elevate the performance of the rest of his defensive teammates.
Mack, the former Raiders all-world defender, held out from camp in order to get a better contract. Rather than acquiesce to his request, new Raiders head coach Jon Gruden instead shipped him to the Bears.
The Bears gave up two first-round draft picks in the trade. But as NBC Sports’ Peter King said of the Raiders after the trade: “I wouldn’t have traded him for four 1’s.”
Kent Babb writes in the Washington Post:
It’s a hard thing to make sense of, and without even suiting up, the Mack trade caused a ripple: Over about 36 hours, the Raiders got weaker, the Bears became nationally relevant after four consecutive seasons of double-digit losses, and Mack signed a new deal with Chicago — six years, $141 million overall and $90 million in guarantees — that makes him the highest-paid defender to ever play the game.