The Bears are finalizing a trade to send 6-time Pro Bowl edge rusher Khalil Mack to the Chargers, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported on Thursday. In return, Chicago will be receiving a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 sixth-round pick.
Mack spend each of the last four seasons with the Bears after then-general manager Ryan Pace dealt a major package including two first-round picks, and he provided them with the star pass-rusher their defense desperately needed right away. He tallied 36 sacks in 53 games with the team, serving as a 3-time Pro Bowler and a 2-time All-Pro for Chicago.
Depending on the exact structure of contracts, Mack saves the Bears $6.15 million and will cost them $24 million this season. The cap space gradually frees up more over the next few years, as Chicago will save $16.9 million in 2023 and $20.25 million in 2024.
With this trade, the Bears now have the No. 48 pick in Round 2 the 2022 NFL Draft, in addition to the No. 39 pick. One can imagine that this selection will be used to build towards new general manager Ryan Poles’ vision for a younger and more athletic Bears roster.
There had been minor rumblings about a hypothetical trade of Mack, but it appears that is the direction Poles is heading in. Dealing the 31-year-old for draft capital is a major signal indicating towards a full-on rebuild.