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Home / Sports / Answering Biggest Questions About Khalil Mack Trading on Chicago Bears by Oakland Raiders

Answering Biggest Questions About Khalil Mack Trading on Chicago Bears by Oakland Raiders

It happened. It actually happened. The bizarre silence over Khalil Mack's contract ended, and the rumors that the Oakland Raiders would drive out their star-pass rushers came true on Saturday morning when Oakland exchanged them for a package of two first-round passes against the Chicago Bears. Mack goes to the Bears along with a 2020 second round pick and a conditional 2020 fifth round pick, while the Raiders pick 2019 first round, 2019 sixth round pick, 2020 first round and 2020 third round pick

It's an absolutely breathtaking Trade. Even in a league where trades are becoming more popular and stars like Marcus Peters are being treated in the midst of their rookie contracts, Mack is the most accomplished player in the prime of his career since the Broncos acquired Champ Bailey in 2004

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This is a huge bet from both sides. The bears are sure to give Mack a blank check, while the trade suggests that the Raiders' checkbook is under wraps. So many questions came to my mind as I tried to figure out this exchange. Let's go through them and see what we can find out about the biggest trade in recent league history.

Is this a logical trade for the bears?

It depends. The 2017 bears did not cry out with a desperate need for a pass rusher. In defensive DVOA, which was carried by the league's sixth-highest sacking rate, Chicago finished 14th. That could be put on the list in the absence of a well-known pass rusher like Mack, but Akiem Hicks & Co. was fourth in the league if they did not flash. Hick's 8.5 bags made him the only player on the team to beat 4.5 sacks, but the Bears managed to reach the quarterback as a whole well.

There are good reasons to believe that the bears in this category may have declined in 2018 without adding a player. Apart from expensive reserves like Pernell McPhee and Lamarr Houston in this offseason, Vic Fangio's defense was unusually effective at turning pressure into sacks. While the Bears were sixth in the sacking rate, they were 19th in the league in pressure rating. When it put pressure on opposing quarterbacks a year ago, Chicago fired these passers-by 25.6 percent of the time, ahead of the league's 21.9 percent.

Khalil Mack had 40.5 sacks in four seasons with the Raiders. Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

Teams with a gap between their sack and pressure rates tend to decline the following year. ESPN has only print data dating back to 2009, but from 2009 to 2016, 45 teams ranked 10 or more points higher in the Sack Ranking than their print rankings. (The bears were, of course, 13 points higher.) These teams saw their sack rankings fall an average of just under seven places the following year, suggesting that it would be difficult for the bear to keep its sacking rate high in 2018.

Adding Mack gives the Bears one of the highest floors for every pass rusher in the league. He has scored 10 sacks and 20 knockdowns each in the last three seasons, which accounts for three-quarters of his professional career. There's nothing in his track record that says the production is fibing or likely to go beyond the typical pass-rush failure rate. He is still only 27 and has not missed a game. The last time Fangio had a pass-rushing combination was this estate in San Francisco with Justin Smith and Aldon Smith, who smashed 33.5 sacks from 2011-12.

The fit on the field is just peachy. Mack was very popular in Oakland's locker room. Bruce Irvin does not seem to be very happy about the move . It feels like the Raiders are organizing a Sterling Shepard-style party for Mack, who will get a massive new contract, even though Mack will not be there to attend the celebrations.

Mack will get a massive extension of this agreement. If anything, its representatives can demand more under an agreement than they ask of the Raiders because the bears have less influence to work with. Can you imagine the bears negotiating two first-round picks for Mack just to get him compensated in free agency for the maximum return of a third round? Of course not. You must imagine that the bears were in contact with Mack's representation during these trade negotiations, but during these first discussions and in the ensuing talks, the bears will basically pay what Mack wants. There are no problems. He deserves to be one of the three or four highest-paid defenders of all football.



Adam Schefter reports on the Raiders using DE Khalil Mack for the Chicago Bears.

Is there a "but"?

Yes. The problem is that the combination of the contract and leads to a ridiculous price tag. The goal of any NFL contract from a management perspective is to pay the team one player less than its production value. We acknowledge this by talking about quarterbacks on rookie contracts that were the most important asset in the game, dating back to the beginnings of the new CBA in 2011 and its draft regulation.

Teams rarely trade two net first-rounds tips for rookie quarterbacks who offer the most value added from any player in the league. The advances for Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, for example, included two first-round picks in an exchange to advance for a first-round pick. The last trade for a team in which they lost a net of two first-round picks (excluding the non-first-rounders) was the Robert Griffin Trade in 2012.

If you design a quarterback in the first round and land on a star you create an added value. The Eagles were played in 2017 by Carson Wentz in the MVP caliber before the former second overall anglers ripped his ACL. Top tier quarterbacks were paid about $ 25 million a year last season, but Wentz was at that level, costing the Eagles only $ 6 million. That extra $ 19 million can be added to the list elsewhere, and even after they had exchanged a lot of money for Wentz, the Eagles were able to cash in on these savings for guys like Alshon Jeffery and Tim Jernigan. Even after Wentz went down, General Manager Howie Roseman was strong enough to win the Super Bowl with Nick Foles.

Bears general manager Ryan Pace had an offensive offseason, several weapons for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, and trade for Mack. AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh

The bears, of course, hope to do the same with Mitchell Trubisky, and Trubisky's four-year $ 29 million contract allows her to spend money on other positions. You probably have a second opinion on this Mack deal when you pay Mike Glennon $ 16 million a season as a starter or go in a different direction, with her quarterback position in the last offseason.

The difference between these rookie quarterback deals and this swap is that the bears do not buy Mack on a beginner contract. You will basically pay him what the market would give him in a veteran business. If he is not Defensive Player of the Year for four consecutive years, the Bears will not gain much in this contract. At best, considering that the forefront of the defensive market is going to grow, they're likely to see between $ 10 and $ 15 million over the next four to five years if everything goes right, and even if Mack continues to play at extremely high levels does not hurt.

Two first-round picks for the right to possibly to pay $ 15 million in added value does not make economic sense. Teams do not value their design capital like that. The uptrend for a quarterback like Wentz, for example, is a completely different economic offer. The Eagles sent less capital to Cleveland than the Bears sent to Mack and came in with a quarterback that exceeded $ 100 million in five years.

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The drawback, of course, was also much smaller; If Wentz failed, the Eagles would have been no more than $ 26.7 million. If Mack gets injured or fights in Chicago, the Bears could pay tens of millions of dollars a year for a player who costs them money. Wentz is the best scenario for this example, but the same logic applies to Mahomes, Trubisky and Watson, all of whom cost much less to purchase in draft capital than Mack and offer the same blend of a higher ceiling and a far less dangerous floor

To be worth two value additions to his market value contract in the first round, Mack, as a well-founded guess, would have to be worth something on the order of $ 15 million more than his actual deal with the Bears Over each of the next five seasons. If he gets Aaron Donald-level money and reaches $ 23 million a year, Mack probably has to play like a $ 38 million a year player to get the economy working in this swap. That is not possible humanly.

To think about opportunity costs, the Bears will miss the chance to grab two players in the first round at market prices over the next few years. Chicago hopes Rookie in linebacker Roquan Smith will become a superstar. Smith was committed to a $ 18.5 million four-year deal after the Bears picked him out with the eighth point total. When Eric Kendricks and Benardrick McKinney extended this off-season, the first four years of their deals came up with an average of just over $ 40 million in new money. The bears give up the opportunity to make bargains with these two first-round picks and otherwise have to find players to fill the positions that would occupy these first-rounders.

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The bears pay a huge premium to sign a player they would not otherwise have access to. General Manager Ryan Pace's designs have produced some useful players, but his first-round selections included Kevin White, Leonard Floyd and Trubisky before adding this off-season to Smith. It's still too small for a sample size, but White was not worth it because of injuries, and Floyd has not met expectations due to injury. Pace landed a hit with Hicks, but his free agent additions were mostly missed, including a terribly bad class last season.

The Bears pay two first-round picks and lose a ton of added value because Mack is too good to misunderstand. Is it an efficient use of assets? Absolutely not. They value Mack as more valuable than Aaron Rodgers over the next five years, and that's simply not the case. Is the best thing these bears could have done with $ 23 million or so a year in cash and two first-round picks? Quite likely.

Do teams who trade two first-round pucks for experienced players lovingly return to their decision?

Ask a bear fan. The last time a team sent two first-round picks in exchange for a veteran was in 2009, when Chicago chose two first-round picks, a third rounder, and Kyle Orton sent to the Broncos for Jay Cutler and a fifth round. Cutler came with the Broncos from a Pro Bowl season and was three weeks away from his 26th birthday; it was a rare opportunity to acquire a Pro Bowler in the prime of his career in a position of great necessity and importance.

Cutler threw 26 interceptions the following season and never made the Pro Bowl again. The often-frustrating Cutler certainly had his moments and often took more flak than he deserved, but it's fair to say that Cutler never lived up to the player the bears believed he was. The Broncos were able to place the picks in a bevy of selections, two of which became future launch wide receivers Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas.

The same goes for many of the veterans with this high price tag. ESPN Stats & Information has found nine other cases in which a player has been changing hands for two first-round hands since 1986. A list with no limited free agents like Sean Gilbert and Wilber Marshall who have cost their new teams two first-round picks. I've gone through these trades and figured out how long each of the stars in their new city lasted, as well as the possible return for those players. In many cases, the teams wrote a more effective player than the one they handed out:

Player Year From After Seasons as
a starter w /
New Team
Best Players
Acquired in
Jay Cutler 2009 DEN [19659048] CHI 8 0 Demaryius Thomas,
Eric Decker
Ricky Williams 2002 NO MIA 2 1 Charles Grant [19659052] Keyshawn Johnson 2000 NYJ TB 4 1 John Abraham
Joey Galloway 2000 SEA DAL 19659048 ] 0 Shaun Alexander
Jeff George 1994 IND ATL 3 0 Marvin Harrison
He rschel Walker * [19659048] 1989 DAL MIN 2.5 0 E Mmitt Smith,
Darren Woodson
Fredd Young 1987 SEA [19659047] IND 3 0 Cortez Kennedy ^
Eric Dickerson 1987 [19659048] LAR IND 4.5 2.5 Fred Strickland
Jim Everett 1986 HOU LAR 8 1 Haywood Jeffires 19659110] * Walker tasted three first-round exchanges
^ The Seahawks used one of the first-round picks in one Package with
their own first-round pick to ascend and grab Kennedy

I would argue that after Walker Mack alongside Dickerson as the most accomplished players in this group would have acted at the time of trading. It is also noteworthy that none of these businesses made the acquiring team a superstar for years to come; The narrowest example is Dickerson, who had a great first year and a half and a half years with the Colts before relegation and finally forced his way out of Indianapolis. The two young quarterbacks, Cutler and Everett, were the only ones to last more than five years with their new team.

That should be enough to arouse a little skepticism that the bear's movement is a stroke of genius, but it is important to note that many of these trades took place in an era in which the league, frankly, is much more stupid the value of draft picks was. (This applies to all American sports.) Looking at recent trades, Mack is clearly a better player than Galloway, Johnson and Williams at the time of their trades. He's better than Cutler, though Cutler plays in a more valuable position.

Mack is a dominant passwatch in his prime – he's only 27. Ron Chenoy / USA Today Sports

Do the teams really young superstars act like this very often? It works?

No, that does not happen very often. During his first four seasons, Mack made three Pro Bowls and was twice All-Pro's first team. Awards are not perfect measures of player quality, but there are no bad players who have made that achievement. Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, 53 players have made it to at least three Pro Bowls and were in the first four years of their career twice all-pro the first team. Thirty-eight of them are eligible for the Hall of Fame, and 25 are actually anchored in Canton.

Teams often do not let these players go. Many of them spent either their entire career or most of their careers with a team. Some others, including recent examples such as Darrelle Revis and Richard Seymour, were treated in the midst of their second contract with their original franchises. These do not really compare to the Raiders who trade Mack before the end of his rookie contract.

I can only find four examples of players with a similar pedigree to Mack who were treated so early in their careers. One is Dickerson, who was dislocated in the middle of his fifth season during a contract dispute. Two of the others were Chargers Wideout John Jefferson and Eagles tight end Keith Jackson. Jefferson made another Pro Bowl and was out of football until the 30th. Jackson made two Pro Bowls and retired after his 31st season.

The third was Jerome Bettis, who moved to Pittsburgh with the Rams after just three seasons, was an all-pro first-team player in his first season at the Steelers and played with Pittsburgh for a decade. Mack is more in line with the first group than Bettis, but you have the idea: This is something akin to a decade, and no team has thrown a player so early in his career in more than 20 years.

So why are the Raiders trading a franchise pass rusher?

That's a tough question, and it's easier to disqualify bad arguments than find the right one. In the beginning, the idea that the Raiders did not have the money to sign Mack seems absolutely bizarre. The Raiders have known for three years that a Mack deal is due this summer, and they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars en route, including [1945975] $ 55 million for contracts that were only off season . It would have taken about 10 minutes to increase the cash flow to sign Mack if owner Mark Davis could not balance his checkbook. This should be a non-starter.

It also seems unlikely that Reggie McKenzie does this. The Oakland manager liked Mack enough to be nominated for fifth overall in 2015 and was looking forward to limiting him to an extension last November. McKenzie told the fans that they should not panic on August 1st.

We've heard many reports that coach Jon Gruden is the one who makes staffing decisions in Oakland, which is reinforced by the Raiders' options in this offseason in adding veteran veteran to free agency , (McKenzie did this early in his tenure with Oakland, but that was out of mere reality that players in their prime did not want to play for the Raiders at the start of their recovery.) Several reports suggested that McKenzie didn I want Mack and do not mandate that Gruden direct the organization . Given that Gruden has a 10-year $ 100 million contract and McKenzie has extended half of his term for four years, we should not be surprised.

When I wrote about Gruden's track record in January, I found out that there was a big gap between coach Gruden and staff evaluator Gruden. The former ESPN commentator de facto took control of the staff in Tampa Bay after the 2003 season and was a relatively poor writer. It would be difficult to argue that the roster he had left after the 2008 season was better than the one he received either as a coach in 2002 or a hiring manager in 2004.

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If we focus specifically on the defensive line, Gruden really did not pay much attention to putting his time to shopping for the food. Cap constraints led Gruden to dismiss Warren Sapp after the 2003 season, and while edge-ringer Edge Rice did not let his nerves down, the Bucs lost $ 7.3 million to him after settling in the Season 2006 had a shoulder injury. Rice later called Gruden a "scumbag" for letting him lie about his future in the team.

The Bucs came out on the defensive with players like Greg Spiers, Dewayne White and 34-year-old free agent Kevin Carter. Gruden signed Chris Hovan to a one-year contract and then signed him to a five-year, $ 17.5 million contract after being impressed with the interior design, but he also swaps former first-round picker Booger McFarland midway through his contract extension , Gruden's most notable investment on the defensive was Gaines Adams, whom the Bucs took fourth overall in the 2007 draft. Adams was traded after Gruden left the city and played a season with the Bears before he died of heart disease.

Gruden is reported to have been better able to take advantage of the $ 20 million the Raiders have spent on Mack across multiple players, and his track record with the Buccaneers indicates that the Raiders are taking things in similar approach. Andrew Hawkins also tweeted an interesting quote from former quarterback Jeff Garcia about his old boss:

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