Trade Wars

AFC West roster wars: Los Angeles Chargers trade for Khalil Mack

This flash week in the NFL continues with news of another trade involving the AFC West.

The Los Angeles Chargers are finalizing a trade that will see setter Khalil Mack return to the division he started his career in. In exchange, the Chicago Bears will receive a second-rounder in 2022 and a sixth-rounder in 2023, and that hefty remainder of Mack’s contract isn’t their problem.

Mack, of course, cost the Bears two first-round picks in 2018 when he was acquired from the Oakland Raiders. Khalil was briefly the highest-paid player in NFL history and had 36 sacks in 53 regular season games. The 31-year-old has just emerged from a shortened injury in 2021 during which he required foot surgery. Even in limited action, he still had six sacks in seven games.

The Chargers narrowly missed the playoffs at 9-8 last season, but have an incredibly bright future thanks to the rise of quarterback Justin Herbert. Their DVOA-ranked 27th defense now gets a boost, and the hope for them is that it takes the pressure off Joey Bosa.

And yes, new Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson will now face Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa twice a year. Even if he was still with the Seattle Seahawks, the NFC West is playing the AFC West, but at least it would have been just a one-time deal. Now, someone else will be tasked with taking on this rushing passing duo when the Seahawks travel to SoFi Stadium to take on the Chargers this season.