Merry Mackmas! The Bears Are Making Big Boy Moves and Other Bullets

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Merry Mackmas! The Bears Are Making Big Boy Moves and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

In case you decided to sleep in this morning, here’s a jolt to get you kick-started before you turn on your morning coffee:

  • The move isn’t officially official yet, and what the Raiders will get in return for Mack has yet to be announced. The cost is going to be high, but this is a HUGE thing that is happening and it will unfold over the next few days. I can’t wait to unpack all of it. It’s like Christmas morning. No … Mackmas!
  • In the modern NFL, so much is put on the shoulders of the quarterback. So if you believe you have one of those quarterbacks who can lead you to something special, the next best thing to have is someone who can chase that guy down on the defensive side of the ball.
  • Say hello to Khalil Mack, who is still in the prime of his career and comes with a pretty big reputation:

  • Now, the Bears and Mack have to come to terms on a long-term extension. I can’t imagine that will take all that long. After all, Mack and his representation can point toward the Aaron Donald deal that went down about 24 hours ago and show what they are looking for a deal. Donald’s six-year pact includes about $87 million in guarantees and could be worth up to $135 million. Mack could surpass those numbers by the end of the day.
  • According to spotrac, the Bears started today with the seventh most available cap space. That $23,282,488 figure gives the Bears ample wiggle room financially to pull off a blockbuster deal of this magnitude. This is to the credit of GM Ryan Pace, who hasn’t been shy about breaking the bank and making a big move in recent years. To cap off an aggressive run in free agency and successful draft with a big-time trade for an elite defender at the team’s biggest known weakness takes major gumption.
  • And credit Pace for successfully balancing the Bears’ book, which positioned the team to swoop in on a potential big deal because of how contracts have been structured. We discussed this often during a woeful 2017 season, but it’s worth re-visiting the fact that even though the Bears didn’t get the desired production from some of their big-ticket free agent signings, the short-term nature of the deals and the ability to easily escape them without long-term salary cap implications or having a player clog a roster spot at a position of need allowed for a move like the Mack deal to happen. It was a short-term loss in order to create the possibility of a long-term gain. Mission accomplished.
  • Also worth noting is how Pace has flown under the radar right before making the big splash move. Think about it for a moment. The Bears had an interest in Trubisky, but were coy about it. Matt Nagy was rumored to be the Colts’ top coaching candidate because of his ties to the team’s general manager. The Packers were the odds-on favorites to get Mack in August. Each time the Bears’ GM had a chance to make a big move, he made it. Will it work out? No one knows. That’s the joy of watching things unfold on the playing surface.
  • No argument here, John:

  • The Bears’ core looks better this morning than it did when you went to bed, doesn’t it:

  • A tweet is worth a thousand words, part one:

  • And part two:

  • Imagine being a Raiders player who wakes up to the news that someone you’ve played alongside with has been dealt. Now, imagine that player being the team’s best and a proven stud at his position. And finally, imagine that player is a three time Pro Bowler, two-time first-team All Pro, and someone who is just one year removed from being the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. Ouch.
  • Now, put yourself in the position of a fan in Las Vegas. Your city is getting a team, a new stadium, and everything that comes with it … except a player of Khalil Mack’s caliber. That’s a tough sell.
  • Back to the Bears-related perspective. Here’s a thought: Trading for Mack is yet another demonstration of how much the Bears believe in Mitch Trubisky. Teams don’t trade multiple first-round picks (and more) if they think they’ll need to draft a quarterback within the next two years.
  • So, how much does the Mack deal change your expectations for 2018? The Bears’ projected win total was 6.5 at most sports books prior to today. Recently, the team’s Super Bowl odds were 100/1.  I imagine those numbers will move a bit in the wake of today’s news.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.