Ryan Pace: Khalil Mack fits what we’re building on the field, in the locker room

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Last offseason Bears General Manager Ryan Pace made the biggest move of his career, trading up in the draft for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Today Pace made a bigger move. And he’s quite pleased with himself.

Pace pulled off a trade with the Raiders for Khalil Mack, a move that Pace sees as a game-changer for Chicago.

“We are excited to add a special playmaker like Khalil to our football team,” Pace said in a statement. “He brings a ton on the field, but he really fits what we are building in our locker room, too. Elite defensive players in their prime are rare so when we knew we had a legit shot to acquire him, we did everything we thought necessary to get him. I’m confident the compensation to Oakland, including the return draft picks to us, and the contract extension for Khalil are fair to all parties. We are anxious to get Khalil to Chicago with his coaches and teammates.”

Mack is undeniably a good player, but a bigger question facing the Bears will be whether Trubisky develops into the Bears’ franchise quarterback. If Trubisky does develop, he should lead a good Bears offense and Mack should lead a good Bears defense.

If Trubisky doesn’t develop, the Bears may wish they had those two first-round draft picks and all that salary cap space back. Of course, if Trubisky turns out to be a bust, rebuilding the Bears without those draft picks will be a job for the next general manager.

57 responses to “Ryan Pace: Khalil Mack fits what we’re building on the field, in the locker room

  1. The only logical explanation here is that George McCaskey was sedated, or maybe tied up and thrown in a utility closet or something so that no one could tell Ryan Pace no when he makes this trade

  2. The two things a football team needs to become a championship contender are a good quarterback and a dominant pass rusher; the Bears look like they have both of those things now, and will probably be favored to win when they travel to Miami to play my Dolphins next month.

  3. Great job Bears. The NFCN is back to being the black and blue division. Except you are not allowed to hit any packer player very hard.

  4. If the NFC North was not the toughest Division in the NFL before this it is now.
    Probably will not be a factor until game 4.
    Great player.
    Wish he would of gone to the Jets or Bill’s, Brady wins again with a wimp of a division.
    Glad he did not go to the packers.
    The Vikings and everyone else will have to game plan around him.
    Is it good for the Bears? That is a lot of $$$ tied up in a non-QB position and two # 1 picks.
    I know they are made in Raiderville but I think they robbed Chicago. A first and the 3rd to me seemed about the max I would give.
    No one every said the Bear’s GM was smart.

  5. I love these GMs who act all hard after BUYING the best player in the marketplace like they just exercised some GENIUS PLAN to improve their team. They opened the checkbook real wide is all. Any fool could’ve done it.

  6. Ask Jerry about giving away 1st round picks for players. Joey Galloway and Roy Williams come to mind. Neither panned out. Trading away draft picks (even for a talent like Mack) in consecutive years and paying huge money to players is NOT a winning formula. Ask the Rams in a couple years. And the Bears, of course.

  7. If you got the cap space go for it. Nothing worse than teams who have tons of cap year after year and stay mediocre. Then again those teams can end up with a mega deal like the Bears just made. Best of luck Bears fans.

  8. So they’re building a locker room where holding out and not talking to the front office until you get what you want is a desirable trait? Sounds more like a cancerous locker room.

  9. Grueden took someone else’s team that was Superbowl ready, won a Superbowl, and it was down hill from there.

    Take II

    Despite the money I am betting Gruden does not make it to the 5th year of his contract. 4 years of being last in his division will do it.

  10. irishgary says:
    September 1, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    You sure do whine a lot. You can get help for your insecurities


    I think you’re confusing me with your whining QB that was tackled with a legal hit or your whining running back that called a Steeler a dirty player because he grabbed his ankle. Bear fans, hopefully no packer players are hurt when you play them or the green and yellow fans will complain non stop on every story. It’s so sad. Monsters of the Midway are back! One of the greatest nicknames of all times.

  11. Everone is an expert on who, when, how much, draft picks or not blah blah blah. I could care less. The Bears have been mediocre since 2006. They are doing what they think they need to do. Its their damn job. If it pans out great, if not, oh well. Ill still have to go to work on Monday’s regardless. Its entertainment people.

  12. As someone else mentioned, if the Bears don’t win 9 or more games it is all for not. You will have given the Raiders a Top 10 pick next year and strangled your team in years to come. I think what people forget is that this is about the team as a whole…not just a piece of it. Does Mack solve all their problems? Some of them? The Raiders had a bad D even with Mack playing stellar. Just saying. The rest of your D has to step up AND your O better score, otherwise losses stack up.

  13. Overspent for a guy who is not even a great player, he’s very good but not great. Avg like 8-10 sacks, not like it’s like 15+

  14. I don’t know what to make of this, on one hand you look at what that front 7 is and have to think the D has a chance to be special if they come together as a group. I’m not convinced the secondary is on par with the front 7, but the front 7 is very good.

    My question is, after watching Trubisky last year and looking at the QB’s who ranked higher than him (Kizer, Cutler, Flacco, McCnown, Brisset) and the QB’s who were about the same (Hundley, Siemian) is this really the time/window to go all in on a defensive player? Seems like maybe give Trubisky a couple more years to develop hope to get a couple game changers on D in the draft the next couple years then you have a team that could be competitive for the long haul. Just seems if MT isn’t ready to take a major jump right now this move will hurt way more than it helps.

  15. Tru is not a bust period. Yet the future is promised to no one in this brutal game. The chance to get a top notch Edge Rusher does not come along in the Draft very often and is always filled with Risk. Mack already has been an All Pro Performer. The Bears are awake and serious as hell about chasing QB’s all over the NFL North this season not so future hope job!!!

  16. All these negative comments must be coming from Packer,Viking and Lion fans. and of course Raider fans. Pace has made some bold moves but this one will bring back the Monsters of the Midway. All of a sudden the Bears are deep . Worst to first: Mark it down baby!

  17. There’s a lot of knowledgeable football minds in this comment section. If Ryan Pace and the McCaskey family are not monitoring these absolute gems of wisdom I can’t see a way that the Bears will ever achieve sustained success.

  18. At the end of the day will be up to Trubisky and Carr, Mack is just another great player that had to be paid huge money, it wasn’t a bad deal for the Raiders

  19. “The fact remains Oakland with Mack was the worst defensive team in football. So how important is he. Two #1’s, plus, I think not.”

    The Bear’s defense is already a top 10 unit. That’s the difference. They wisely didn’t want anyone else from that unit.

  20. The other NFL players traded for two first round picks:

    Bears acquire QB Jay Cutler from Broncos in 2009.

    Dolphins acquire RB Ricky Williams from Saints in 2002.

    Bucs acquire WR Keyshawn Johnson from Jets in 2000.

    Falcons acquire QB Jeff George from Colts in 1994.

    Vikings acquire RB Herschel Walker from Cowboys in 1989 (actually three first round picks).

    Colts acquire LB Fredd Young from Seahawks in 1988.

    Colts acquire RB Eric Dickerson from Rams in 1987.

    Rams acquire QB Jim Everett from Oilers in 1986.

    Anybody see a pattern here?

  21. dkcjb says:
    September 1, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    “Find me a locker room he doesn’t fit in.”

    The Raiders’ maybe?


    His contract situation was between himself and the Raiders front office. It had nothing to do with his relationship to his teammates. If anything, the Raiders locker room is likely a bit demoralized by his departure. Although they would never admit it publicly.

  22. The way the NFL is now with injuries, players concerned with concussions, etc, Khalil Mack is already mid-career, with probably 3 dominant seasons in him and, barring injury, a couple good to decent ones after that. Then he’ll be 32. I doubt Trubisky will be leading Chicago to the SB within the next 3 seasons, if he is even around by then. This was the kind of move the dumb bad teams make. The smart bad teams build through the draft and eventually aren’t bad anymore.

  23. I like the move. The Bears haven’t been in the playoffs since 2010 and haven’t had a winning season since 2012. In essence, you’re really just giving up only one Round 1 draft pick: Mack is obviously the equivalent of at least a high first round pick, and he’s moving to a better defense where he should be more productive I think Pace showed big stones to go all in here. Still doesn’t make the Bears a playoff team this year in my opinion, unless Trubisky looks really good.

  24. You have to take your shots. Not stepping off the curb would be a ticket to mediocrity. There are no guarantees a bold move will pay off. The only guarantee is that if you don’t try the magic won’t happen.

  25. Mitch is cheap now. Leonard has a cast on his hand, and the lovely Ms. McCaskey wants to win now.

    To do that, we needed an edge rusher, so we ‘drafted him’ with our first rounder in 2019 (which everyone expected us to do anyway). In 2020, we traded back one round, because the edge rusher we’re getting happens to be one of the best in the business. We don’t know the terms on the 5th rounder yet, but we gave up a 6 rounder next year.

    Not bad, Pace. Not bad at all.

    Dear Jon, I loved you as an announcer; the verdict is out on you as a coach (in this era)… but you certainly need to leave the GMing duties to McKenzie. Good grief.

  26. Overrated. 40 sacks in 4 years is average. 1 forced fumble last year. Hardly game changing. Most of the time he just gets pushed past the QB.

  27. Lots of draft capital for a so so team to give away for a single edge rusher. Let alone the gurenteed cash. This deal will handcuff the Bears for the foreseeable future. I’m not bashing Mack’s talent in any way. He’s a very very good player. BUT trading away 2 first round draft picks is a complete roll of the dice on Trubisky. I’m not sold on Trubisky as a ‘franchise quarterback’ going forward. And that’s the caveat here. Defensive players aren’t quarterbacks annnd VERY rarely are ‘game changers’ worth the investment. Suh? Hanesworth? Nay! White? Taylor? Of course. That’s ssuming that your franchise is on the cusp of winning a Super Bowl. Mack isn’t close to the latter two mentioned and the Bears are not ‘one or two peices’ away. JJ Watt is the ONLY player in recent history (when healthy) that can take over a game defensively all by himself. Problem is Watt hasn’t been healthy for the last two seasons. Hey maybe I’m wrong but if I’m a Bear’s fan I’m livid!

  28. This is a big pick up for the Bears. Piece by piece … constantly evaluate the roster and improve with each move. Even if just replacing back ups or office staff, or groundskeepers – improve the organization one cog at a time.

    He can’t solely revive the franchise he needs guys around him. This is pretty similar to when the Packers added Reggie White. They finished 9-7 – and 9-7 the following year … then the NFCCG the next year and Super Bowl win the year after that. To get over the hump, the Pack added Sean Jones,Eugene Robinson, Santana Dotson…and so it goes.

    Mack can’t win it himself but properly built upon, the Bears have a bright future. I’ve always respected the organization and the players. Always. I truly believe this move is good. Will help put the Bears back where they belong.

  29. Gruden and the Raiders beat Pace to a pulp on this deal. Enjoy third place during the rest of Mack’s prime and then being stuck with that contract when he is past his prime. That isn’t so far away either.

  30. I don’t get it, he’s really good, but he’s not Lawrence Taylor. He’s a REALLY good linebacker who is at the forefront of a NFL position that is so watered down that no one can name 5 dominant MLBs and that is because the game has changed. HUGE mistake. Due to the rule changes, you will see salaries begin to drop on the defensive side of the ball. What a mess we (the consumer) have made.

  31. @craniator – so in your opinion, it only takes two quality players for an NFL team to win the Super Bowl. Forget the O and D lines, secondary, receivers, RBs, etc. sounds to me like you are desperate to believe that the Bears are a SB contender. They are not.

  32. Defense can and does win championships. So does Brady = a top notch QB and top notch defense. Last few championship teams all had the QB and defense, BOTH.

  33. If Trubisky doesn’t pan out the Bears have 0 chance to be perenial playoff contenders. If Trubisky does pan out they can be a playoff contender and another superstar away from ever having a better than 0% chance to win a Super Bowl. Now they have that other superstar (if he continues to progress) So if Trubisky pans out they have a better than 0% chance to win a superbowl. For now I thank Pace for at least giving us a glimmer of hope. Of course if Trubisky doesn’t work out and Mack gets past his prime in a few years the Bears will basically be a 4-7 win team for the better part of the next decade, but at least we have some hope for now. Sometimes you have to take the chance. It was similar in 2009 when we got Cutler. There was that chance he would work out great, he turned out mediocre, still say it was worth the risk.

  34. Still the Bears. Haven’t had faith in that organization in decades – and I am from Chicago. Great pick up, but I don’t think Trubisky is the real deal, and one DL-man isn’t going to make the difference. Just ask Suh. The ownership needs to change.

  35. I am sorry but this is just stupid. Mack isn’t even as good as Frank Clark. Overppaid significantly. Worse than the Cutler extension years ago. What the hell Bears?

  36. craniator says:
    September 1, 2018 at 8:46 pm
    The two things a football team needs to become a championship contender are a good quarterback and a dominant pass rusher; the Bears look like they have both of those things now, and will probably be favored to win when they travel to Miami to play my Dolphins next month.


    Don’t know what game you watch…

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