Khalil Mack is no longer a member of the Chicago Bears. On Thursday, the Bears traded Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers. In return, they received a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 sixth-round pick. The news shocked some fans while others fully expected it with the Bears' messy salary cap situation, thanks to Ryan Pace. But Pat McAfee was surprised by this move for another reason.
The full clip from The Pat McAfee Show outlines some good questions. How many other teams knew that Mack was on the market and for such a low value? How exactly did the Bears get so little, albeit better than nothing at all, and how could that have been different?
Pat McAfee's Comments
It's Great For LA
On his YouTube show, Pat McAfee reacted to the Khalil Mack trade news. At first, he discussed how great it was for the Chargers, and rightly so. In addition to Joey Bosa, Derwin James, and potentially J.C. Jackson, Mack makes their defense pretty intimidating. The Chargers are definitely primed to make a deep postseason run in 2022 and it will be fun to watch.
On the other side of that equation, the Bears really didn't get a lot in return for such a high-caliber player. This marriage between the Bears and Mack could have ended much worse though. It's true they could have kept him and restructured his contract again. But when they didn't win a damn thing, Mack's prime would have been wasted. Then he likely would have left on his own for nothing, so making this deal is beneficial in that aspect.
McAfee Suggests It Might Have Been A Favor To Khalil Mack
Pat McAfee speculates that it's possible the new Chicago Bears front office had conversations with Mack behind closed doors. Maybe GM Ryan Poles wanted to do Mack a solid and send him somewhere he could contend for a championship, something I'm all in favor of. But how many other teams knew about this market? Furthermore, McAfee wondered what the Indianapolis Colts were doing with around $70 million of cap space. Did they even know they could make a phone call inquiry?
With Bears head coach Matt Eberflus' past relationship with the Colts, you would think there was some kind of communication there. Maybe Eberflus doesn't think the Colts would have made such a deal. Or maybe Ryan Poles didn't want to make a deal with Indianapolis being too close of an organization that your "new regime Chicago Bears" poached staff from.
Would The Bears Have Traded Mack If Aaron Rodgers Left The NFC North?
Later in Pat McAfee's show, the crew pondered if the Bears would have still traded Mack if Aaron Rodgers left the Green Bay Packers. They agreed that Poles still would have made the deal because the Bears are rebuilding.
Finally, A.J. Hawk joined the show to discuss the Mack news and said it's great for the Chargers. In his opinion, Khalil Mack can still play but he was lost in Chicago. The Bears are a bad team, and outside of the fluke 2018 season, they haven't been winning. Nothing has been confirmed and it's all hearsay, but Mack couldn't have been happy with that.
The Raiders traded him to the Bears and he immediately made a huge impact. His first season in Chicago was a 12-4, division-winning shocker that was dominantly led by the Bears' defense. Since then, they were .500 or worse and Mack's prime was passing him by with nothing to show for it.
Maybe Mack quietly requested this deal behind closed doors and it's good for him to chase a ring. I think Pat McAfee is right in questioning how the rest of the NFL didn't try to get some deal done with Chicago. For all we know, the Bears could have got a much bigger payload in return for one of the most disruptive defensive forces in the league.