With a star quarterback being added to their division this week, the LA Chargers have bolstered their defense with one of the most fearsome pass rushers in the NFL.
The Chargers are acquiring star Khalil Mack from the Chicago Bears, per multiple reports. That makes Los Angeles’ Super Bowl odds intriguing considering how stacked the AFC West is becoming.
The #Chargers trade for #Bears star Khalil Mack is in place, sources say, pending tinkering with his contract and a physical. Assuming that goes smoothly, Mack will join Joey Bosa with the #Chargers as one of the best pass-rush tandems in the NFL.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2022
Los Angeles Chargers Super Bowl odds
The Chargers are tied for 12th in NFL odds to win the Super Bowl at +2500. They’re tied with the Indianapolis Colts, who just traded away quarterback Carson Wentz, for the seventh-best odds to win the AFC at +1400.
But with this pass-rushing help, they’re still not among the top two teams favored to win their division. The Kansas City Chiefs (-115) are still led by Patrick Mahomes, and the Denver Broncos (+275) agreed to a deal to bring in Pro Bowler Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks earlier in the week.
The Chargers’ odds to win the AFC West are third at +400.
The trade-a-day NFL:
🏈Tuesday: Russell Wilson from the Seahawks to the Broncos.
🏈Wednesday: Carson Wentz from the Colts to the Commanders.
🏈Thursday: Khalil Mack from the Bears to the Chargers.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2022
Chicago Bears Super Bowl odds
The Bears’ odds to win Super Bowl 57 are +6600, which is 26th in the league.
Their NFL betting odds to win the NFC are 13th at +3000, and they’re last to win the NFC North at +900. The division remained tough when Aaron Rodgers reportedly agreed to a four-year, $200 million extension to remain with the Packers, who are favored to win the North at -190.
Aaron Rodgers after getting $153 million guaranteed and seeing Khalil Mack leave the division pic.twitter.com/yrHM4JsYrQ
— BetMGM 🦁 (@BetMGM) March 10, 2022
Khalil Mack Trade Details
According to ESPN, the Chargers are in line to give up a second-round pick this year and a sixth-rounder in 2023 for Mack.
Mack, a six-time Pro Bowler and former Defensive Player of the Year played four seasons in Chicago. He came via trade with the Raiders, who drafted Mack, that featured two first-round picks.
Based on numbers on OverTheCap, Khalil Mack's #Chargers cap hits will be
— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) March 10, 2022
In 2018, Mack’s first year with the Bears, he tallied 12.5 sacks. But he never tallied more than nine in each of the following three seasons. He totaled six, five, and three forced fumbles in his first three seasons.
Khalil Mack’s Value
Mack provides aid to a Los Angeles defensive front that badly needs it.
The Chargers were 28th in adjusted line yards on run plays and 17th in adjusted sack rate, according to Football Outsiders. They were 26th in total DVOA.
Pro Football Focus graded the Chargers 24th in defense, 19th against the run, and 13th in pass rush.
Mack played just seven games last season after suffering a season-ending foot injury. So the question remains if Mack, at 31 years old, can give the Chargers the jolt on defense they’re looking for.
From Aug, Khalil Mack on Brandon Staley as a head coach: "When he locked me in on football it was like it was all ball. I could kind of tell he had that head coach personna and it didn't surprise me at all that he went on to get a (DC) position and then now a head coaching job."
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) March 10, 2022
To Mack’s benefit, the onus of getting after the passer won’t be entirely on him.
Joey Bosa, who’s made the Pro Bowl in four of his first six seasons, can play opposite of him. Especially if the Chargers choose to add to their defense with the 17th pick in the NFL Draft, offenses may be ill-equipped to stop LA’s front seven.
And with an offense featuring quarterback Justin Herbert, running back Austin Ekeler, as well as wide receivers Keenan Allen and newly-re-signed Mike Williams, Mack gives the Chargers more fuel to make a run at a title.
Khalil Mack’s Contract
Soon after the Bears traded for Mack, they signed him to a six-year, $141 million extension with $90 million guaranteed. He has three years left of that deal.
Mack will have a $17.75 million cap hit in 2022, $22.9 million in 2023, and $23.25 million in 2024. The Bears will take on $24 million in dead money.
According to Spotrac, the Chargers still possess the NFL’s fifth-most cap space in 2022 at $42 million.
AFC West QBs looking at Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack pic.twitter.com/RJvlLyQ0Ij
— BetMGM 🦁 (@BetMGM) March 10, 2022
Chicago Bears Future
If the Bears’ outlook on the 2022 season wasn’t clear before, it is now.
Before this trade, the Bears’ defense possessed Pro Bowl-caliber talent at every level. Now they’re missing a key piece of that unit who proved vital to their playoff runs in 2018 and 2020.
The Bears are welcoming a new era, one that includes the hiring of general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus this offseason, as well as quarterback Justin Fields entering his second year as a pro. They were willing to move on from Mack to free up cap space and bring in draft picks in order to build for the future.