Chargers acquiring pass rusher Khalil Mack from Bears for 2 draft picks: reports | CBC Sports

In Khalil Mack, The Los Angeles Chargers have found another pass rusher to pair with Joey Bosa.

The Chargers have agreed to acquire the defensive end from the Chicago Bears in exchange for two draft picks, two people familiar with the negotiations confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade can’t become official until the start of the new league year on Wednesday.

The Chargers are expected to send a second-round pick this year and a 2023 sixth-round selection to the Bears for the three-time All-Pro defender.

The move will reunite Chargers coach Brandon Staley with Mack. Staley was Mack’s linebacker coach when the Bears acquired Mack from the Raiders during the 2018 pre-season.

When Staley was hired as Chargers head coach last January, he credited working with Mack for helping tremendously in his development as a coach.

“I learned a lot more from Khalil Mack than he learned from me,” Staley said at the time. “I drew a lot of confidence being able to coach a guy like him and I think that that first season in Chicago and that first experience, I felt like, you know, I could do this someday.”

Mack, who turned 31 on Feb. 22, will be going into his ninth NFL season. He was the fifth overall pick by the Raiders in the 2014 draft and was The Associated Press’ Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. He was traded to the Bears during the 2018 pre-season after a contract dispute.

The move helps bolster a Chargers defence that was 23rd last season and tied for 20th with 35 sacks. Bosa had 10 1/2 sacks last season despite often being double-teamed.

Los Angeles, 9-8 last season, got off to a 4-1 start but missed the playoffs for the third straight season, winning back-to-back games only once after Week 5, and losing three of the final four games.

1st big step in Bears’ overhaul

The Bears opted for major changes after going 6-11 and missing the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 years. The fired general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy, replacing them with Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus.

Trading Mack for draft capital is the first big step by the new regime toward overhauling the roster.

Pace’s acquisition of Mack in a blockbuster trade with Oakland just before the start of the 2018 season helped transform a solid defence into an elite unit and propelled the Bears to the NFC North championship in Nagy’s first year. Mack was an All-Pro that season with 12 1/2 sacks, helping Chicago go 12-4 and make the playoffs for the first time since 2010. But the Bears lost a wild-card game at Soldier Field to Philadelphia.

Chicago never won a playoff game with Mack. And his production slipped after that season: He had 8 1/2 sacks in 2019 and nine the following year.

Mack got off to a good start last season with six sacks in seven games. But a foot injury in Week 3 against Cleveland led to him being placed on season-ending injured reserve in November and undergoing surgery.

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