NFL headlines continued to roll Thursday, with the Chargers agreeing to acquire star passing thrower Khalil Mack in a high-profile trade from the Bears. Los Angeles was expected to be looking for help this offseason, but few expected Mack, the former Defensive Player of the Year, to be one of the team’s top targets. Already, the Chargers’ chances of a playoff run in 2022 have jumped following Mack’s arrival against Joey Bosa in the west. But did LA pay too much for their splashy move? And did the Bears get a fair return for one of the most accomplished defensive players in the league?

Here’s how we’d rate each side of the trade, which saw the Chargers get Mack in exchange for a second-round pick in 2022 and a sixth-round pick in 2023:

Bear rating: B-

OK, so first things first: this one hurts if you’re a Bears fan, because no matter his price tag or his recent injury, Mack is the kind of towering force any team would love to have on their defense. Overall, though, it’s far from a bad bet. Chicago is essentially starting from scratch with a new regime, and Mack is 31, just suffered a season-ending injury and owes $84.9 million over the next three years. He could still be in Pro Bowl form by the time Justin Fields and Co. are (ideally) set to face off, but instead the Bears are instantly saving money while adding a solid second-day pick for the rebuild. .

The reason they don’t get this deal right is because it’s basically fair for a second round, months after the Rams secured a half-season second and third round from Von Miller, 32. (The 2023 sixth offers roughly the same value as a 2022 seventh, which is anything but a disposable pick.) Sure, Miller was a lot cheaper and wasn’t freshly injured, but Mack, when he’s healthy, remains an elite starter. You have to wonder, if Mack came full steam ahead to start 2022, how much the Bears could have gotten from another contender by selling him closer to the trade deadline instead.

Grade of chargers: B+

Is that a high price for an aging pass thrower who just suffered a serious injury, especially in light of the fact that he will absorb all of Mack’s remaining contract? Sure. There’s a decent chance, even if Mack returns to full health against Bosa, his days of Defensive Player of the Year dominance are behind him. You could argue that the Chargers might as well have spent a lot of money (but not at Mack’s level) on veteran free agents like Von Miller or Chandler Jones, or rather made a longer-term investment in someone. ‘one like Emmanuel Ogbah. .

But let’s be honest: That’s exactly the kind of move you make if you think you’re on the brink, and the Chargers, with an ascending QB franchise in Justin Herbert, are rightly doing it. Pairing Mack with Bosa and a defensive line that’s also sure to get upgrades via the draft or free agency is a recipe for one of the NFL’s scariest top seven, especially since the coach Brandon Staley has a history with Mack since their time in Chicago. . Worst-case scenario, the bet doesn’t pay off with a title within a year or two, and LA can walk away from Mack’s deal quite easily; the veteran can be cut in 2023 to save $16.9 million, or in 2024 to save $20.3 million.