The Khalil Mack trade from the Chicago Bears to the Los Angeles Chargers was a big moment for both teams. For the Bears, it signaled an acceptance that they need to take stock, while the Chargers made clear their intent to make a Super Bowl run in 2022. Let’s look at the details of the trade for Mack and the salary cap implications on both sides.
Looking at the Khalil Mack trade details
With the Bears and Chargers heading in different directions entering 2022, this trade somewhat made sense for both sides. However, there was a feeling that the Chargers have pulled off a heist in getting Mack for what many see as relatively little draft capital.
Here are the full terms of the trade:
- Chargers receive:
- Khalil Mack
- Bears receive:
- 2022 second-round selection
- 2023 sixth-round selection
However, when the financial implications of the deal are considered, the compensation appears to make more sense. Let’s examine how much the Bears are left with in dead money. Additionally, we’ll look at how much the Chargers will take on in salary commitments in the remaining three years of the deal.
Financial implications of the Khalil Mack trade
The Bears were due to have Mack count for more than $30 million against their salary cap in 2022. Following the trade, that is still $24 million in dead money. However, it is the cash commitments and the future cap numbers that the Bears likely had in mind when they made this trade.
Mack has a $5.5 million roster bonus due on March 18, 2022. He was also set to earn $12.05 million in base salary with a $200,000 workout bonus. That is nearly $18 million in cash the Bears have cleared in 2022 alone.
When we look ahead, there is more than $23 million in cash owed in each of the 2023 and 2024 seasons. Add in the prorated money and the Bears are saving more than $25 million in cap commitments in 2023 and 2024.
From the Chargers’ perspective, they are taking on cap hits of $17.75 million, $22.9 million, and $23.25 million in the next three years. However, with none of that money on Mack’s contract guaranteed, the Chargers have freedom. If they want to move on from Mack at any point, they can with no dead money. That freedom is valuable with Mack set to be 31 and coming off an injury-hit year.
The trade was the start of a big offseason for the Chargers
If we didn’t already know, this move signaled the Chargers were going to be making moves this offseason. They later agreed to terms with J.C. Jackson on a five-year, $82.5 million accord. Subsequently, the Chargers brought over Sebastian Joseph-Day from the Rams on a three-year deal for $24 million. Those two moves, combined with the addition of Mack, have completely overhauled this defense.
Add all of that to the extension for Mike Williams, and the Chargers are built for a Super Bowl run in the next couple of years. With Justin Herbert showing them what he could do in his first two years, the Chargers are not holding back.