Were the Chicago Bears right to turn down the Las Vegas Raiders' Khalil Mack trade inquiry ahead of free agency?

Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears
Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears

News recently came through that the Las Vegas Raiders tried to re-sign Khalil Mack from the Chicago Bears earlier this year.

It is quite a turn of events since the Raiders were the team that initially traded Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears in exchange for draft picks and freeing up their cap space just when he was about to enter his peak. While his initial trade was shocking in itself, this trade was more about common sense and practicality that could have suited both parties.

Why do the Las Vegas Raiders need Khalil Mack?

The Las Vegas Raiders need Khalil Mack for the same reason anyone needs Khalil Mack: elite pass rush capabilities. The need for the Las Vegas Raiders, though, was acute. In 2020, they had a total of 21 sacks that was spread over all their defense.

Put that in comparison to Khalil Mack, and a clear picture emerges. He himself had nine sacks and three forced fumbles. He could have single-handedly contributed nearly half the output of the entire defense of the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Las Vegas Raiders were so desperate that they were willing to eat humble pie and bring back Khalil Mack. When that did not happen, they signed Yannick Ngakoue to a deal that runs for two years, a player who lasted half a season with the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens in 2020.

Should the Chicago Bears have traded Khalil Mack?

The Chicago Bears have problems of their own that would have made any deal involving Khalil Mack palatable. They are extremely short of cap space with only around $4 million free at the moment. In such a tight situation, being able to offload $14.6 million from their cap space by trading Khalil Mack might seem appealing.

But the Chicago Bears made a good decision standing by Mack. If freeing up cap space and getting draft picks in return for an elite pass rusher like Khalil Mack made teams better, the Las Vegas Raiders would be champions now instead of begging him to come back.

Also, trading Khalil Mack would have solved exactly the wrong problem for the Chicago Bears. Robert Quinn, who has a higher cap hit of $14.7 million, had only two sacks last season and does not seem to have improved since.

If there is anyone the Chicago Bears need to offload, it is clearly not Khalil Mack.

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Edited by Colin D'Cunha
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