The Chicago Bears have a decorated history of star defensive players that is as old as the franchise itself. Names like Bill George, Dick Butkus, Dan Hampton, Richard Dent, Mike Singletary, and Brian Urlacher come to mind when thinking about the legacy of excellent defenders.
Soon, Khalil Mack will get a chance to make his mark in the Bears’ history books.
The team officially announced the deal we have been talking about all day on Saturday evening:
We have done everything from discuss some of the finer details of the deal (which nets the Bears Mack and a second-round pick in 2020) to check out highlights of the fearsome pass-rusher. “Mackmas” been a holiday of sorts around here, one that is no doubt worthy of a celebration.
Credit goes to GM Ryan Pace, who pulled off an unexpected blockbuster deal that put an exclamation point on what was an ultra-aggressive and successful offseason that started with the hiring of a new head coach, included a complete overhaul of a woeful wide receivers corps, and featured a highly-regarded draft class. And even though we’ll surely hear more from Pace (and Mack) tomorrow, the Bears’ general manager issued a statement via the team’s official website:
“We are excited to add a special playmaker like Khalil to our football team. He brings a ton on the field, but he really fits what we are building in our locker room, too. Elite defensive players in their prime are rare so when we knew we had a legit shot to acquire him, we did everything we thought necessary to get him. I’m confident the compensation to Oakland, including the return draft picks to us, and the contract extension for Khalil are fair to all parties. We are anxious to get Khalil to Chicago with his coaches and teammates.”
Excited is only one way to put the feelings going through Bears fans now. We’re eight days from opening the regular season against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field and there is a ton to be geeked up about. The Bears are headed up north with a new head coach, three new starting receivers, and a tight end with tremendous upside to go along with a defense that finished in the top-10 in scoring and yardage that just added the best pass-rusher in football. Oh, and they made him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history for good measure. Get. Pumped.
Of course, the Oakland Raiders had a different slant on the deal:
We have acquired first-round selections in the 2019 and 2020 NFL Draft via a trade with Chicago.
— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) September 1, 2018
There is still much to unpack from this deal. But for now, we can bask in the glory of it being a done deal.