Under general manager Ryan Pace, the Bears are much smarter and willing to make their team better.
We've seen it with the young general manager in the past. On Saturday morning, he made arguably his biggest move yet in three years by trading for outside linebacker Khalil Mack.
Update (2:41 PM CT):
Full trade details, per Schefter.
--The Bears receive Khalil Mack, 2020 second-round pick and a 2020 fifth-round pick (conditional).
---The Raiders receive 2019 first-round pick, 2020 first-round pick, 2020 third-round pick and a 2019 sixth-round pick.
Update (5:17 PM CT):
Contract details, per Schefter
6 years, $141 million ($90 million in guaranteed money and $60 million due at signing).
At 8:15 AM ET/7:15 AM CT, Rapoport hinted that the Bears were an "undercover team" in the Mack sweepstakes.
Well, fast forward 25 minutes in real time and Pace now has made the most of his cap room at the top position of need.
Acquiring Mack, a true pass rusher will give defensive coordinator Vic Fangio something to smile about.
Mack, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft had been holding out for a new contract with the Raiders since before training camp started.
In 2017, he led the NFL in combined quarterback pressures and run stops with 119, according to Pro Football Focus. Mack has 40.5 sacks in four seasons, with 10.5 a year ago and a career-best 15 in 2015.
Mack has been a cornerstone in terms of health, starting all 64 games since 2014. He has been to three straight Pro Bowls and was named as a First-Team All-Pro in both 2015 and 2016.
He ranked No. 10 overall in the ESPN Top 100 list and No. 16 in the NFL Network Top 100 list.
The only first-round picks by the Bears to make a Pro Bowl as a Bear since 2001 are Tommie Harris and Kyle Long. Mack has been to 3 Pro Bowls. Draft picks are important, but it’s not like the franchise has done a good job of taking advantage of its first-round capital lately.
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) September 1, 2018
Given the injury history of 2015 first round pick Leonard Floyd and thin OLB room, giving up picks for a proven commodity in Mack was wise by the Bears. The linebacker position is a true strength now on paper and that takes pressure off of everyone, including the cornerbacks and safeties on the backend.
This makes it seem as if Pace believes the Bears are one of the better teams in the league as he will have no first rounders to work with in 2019 or 2020 now. But again to get dominant talent, you have to give up a lot typically. I applaud the move.
The #Bears front 7 has a chance to be elite now
Hicks Goldman Bullard
Floyd Trevathan Smith Mack
— Jake Perper (@BearsBacker) September 1, 2018
A top-10 defense a year ago under Fangio, the Bears are much more suited to move into the elite ranks. A dominant defense helps ease second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky and his offensive talent.
The Bears still have to sign Mack to an extension, but this addition is one that will give Pace endless props around the league. He's not afraid to go after the talent he wants, unlike previous general managers in town.
The most an NFL team has surrendered for a defensive player is when Vikings traded a 1, two 3’s and a swap of 5’s to Chiefs for DE Jared Allen. Bears trade for Khalil Mack, when it gets done, will top that, making it the most an NFL team has surrendered for a defensive player.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 1, 2018
Note: Aaron Donald inked a 6-year, $135 million contract extension with the Rams which included $86,892,000 million in guaranteed money. The reports are that Mack will exceed that and become the highest paid defensive player very shortly.
Final cuts expire at 4 PM ET/3 PM CT today. Mack's acquisition takes those moves out of the spotlight, that is for sure.
So about that Prince...
When Matt Nagy gathered his team Friday for an important announcement, one player shouted from the back: “Have we all just been traded for Khalil Mack?”
Prince Amukamara: “It was awesome. I was cracking up.”
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) August 28, 2018
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