Breaking: The Chargers Acquire Khalil Mack
Two days after the Denver Broncos acquired quarterback Russell Wilson, the Los Angeles Chargers loudly fired back with their answer. They have traded for former defensive player of the year Khalil Mack, who will reunite with Brandon Staley who served as Mack’s position coach in Chicago from 2017 to 2018. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Chargers are only sending a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 sixth-round pick to acquire Mack. Mack has three years left on the extension that he signed in 2018 after the Bears acquired him from the Raiders. Per Ian Rapoport, the three sides are working to restructure his contract before the deal becomes finalized.
This is a massive coup from the Chargers’ side of things. This move signals two things: 1) They are clearly ALL IN on capitalizing on Justin Herbert’s rookie window, 2) Staley has an enormous amount of roster say. Getting a player like Mack only comes around so often, and when it does, you have to take that shot. It’s a shot that requires a forward-thinking, aggressive decision-maker and that is clearly Staley. Not to say that Telesco doesn’t have the final say, of course, he does, but I have to believe that this was driven by Staley and his relationship with Mack.
Staley and Tom Telesco both said in their end-of-season press conferences that the defensive line would be a large point of emphasis in the offseason, it had to be after the season that they put out. They sure came out swinging.
I’m sure some will point to recent injury history for Mack, he missed 13 games in 2021 after having season-ending foot surgery; and some downplay as a point of concern. However, he did play in every game in 2020 and totaled 59 pressures, and 10 sacks that year, which is still certainly top tier. He was also always the focus of opposing team’s blocking schemes in Chicago. That won’t be the case in Los Angeles where he’ll be playing alongside another elite edge rusher in Joey Bosa. The two will undoubtedly be the best edge-rushing tandem in the league once they make their season debut this year or at the very least the most intimidating.
Even if he isn’t necessarily the same player he was when he won defensive player of the year, this is an absolute slam dunk for the Chargers. NFL teams say they never look around at what other teams are doing, but when the crosstown Rams win a Super Bowl and the division rival Broncos acquire an MVP level quarterback, you have to do something. First Mike Williams, now Mack, this is already one of the wildest offseasons in franchise history and the Chargers might not be done yet. ALL IN.