The big NFL news coming out this weekend is the Chicago Bears/Khalil Mack deal. But why is this such a big deal? Why is everyone making such a fuss about it? Well, the Bears took a calculated risk in their pursuit of Mack as he is the kind of transformational pass-rusher who has eluded them for years. The other reason is that the price tag for acquiring Mack was pretty steep. Just how steep was it? In order for the Bears to secure Mack, they had to give up the following:
- First-round draft picks in 2019 and 2020
- Third-round draft pick in 2020
- Sixth-round draft pick in 2019.
That’s a lot of concessions, just for one player. But it doesn’t stop there. They are offering him a six year deal of $141 million, including $90 million guaranteed and $60 million at signing. This deal makes him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. In fact, this deal exceeds the one Aaron Donald just agreed to with the Rams, which includes $87 million in guarantees. It feels a bit like we’ve gone into another era with football contracts. What does that look like when it’s broken down?
Total new money APY: $23.5 million
Signing bonus: $34 million
Year 1 cash: $41 million
Year 2 cash: $56.3 million
Year 3 cash: $73.3 million
Total new money: Six years, $141 million
Practical guarantee: $90 million
According to ESPN, the Bears are poised to send the Oakland Raiders the most compensation for a defensive player since Minnesota acquired defensive end Jared Allen from Kansas City in 2008. That deal was for a first round pick, two third-round picks and a bunch of sixth-round picks. Allen then signed a six-year, $74 million deal with $31 million in guarantees and went on to record 85.5 sacks with the Vikings.
As is the case with Allen, the Bears are getting Mack at the height of his powers. Mack, who turned 27 in February is in the prime of his career, with 40.5 sacks over the four years he’s been with Oakland. But the Bears aren’t exactly the favorite to win. As you’re well aware, the NFL is a quarterback-driven league and Chicago’s, Mitchell Trubisky still has a lot to prove. Regardless of that, the chance to acquire someone like Mack was definitely too good of a deal to pass up for Chicago.
On the other side of the scenario is how Mack feels about all of this. When he was asked what was so attractive about the Bears, his response was quite simple. “To be wanted”. And isn’t that what we all want? Who doesn’t want to feel like someone (or a team) is willing to walk to the ends of the Earth, just to have them in their lives? In this scenario, I am talking about a football team, but you can see how it is with other types of relationships. We all just want to be wanted, and the Bears are putting their money where their mouths are with this one for sure.
Will this help the Bears secure a playoff spot? The short answer is that it will get them closer, but I think they have a little bit farther to go if they want to be a playoff contender.