The Chicago Bears made a big splash on Thursday afternoon, reportedly trading star linebacker Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers, and now we’re learning more about how the deal is going to impact both teams financially.
According to multiple reports, including from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Bears will acquire the Chargers’ 2022 second round draft pick, along with a sixth round pick in the 2023 draft.
More importantly, according to Rapoport, the Chargers are taking on the remainder of Mack’s contract in the deal.
Here’s what that means for the Bears from a money perspective. The trade will clear up some cap space for the team this season, but only some. According to Over the Cap and Spotrac, the trade will save the Bears approximately $6 million this season, as they’ll still have $24 million in dead cap space as a result of the restructuring of Mack’s deal that was made during his four-year tenure in Chicago.
That dead cap space is immovable because of NFL rules, with deferments and other cap moves that the Bears made over four years coming due this season.
The real savings comes in 2023, when the Bears will be completely out from underneath Mack’s contract, saving them $28.5 million in salary cap room.
Meanwhile, the Chargers will be on the hook for a nearly $23 million cap hit in both 2023 and 2024.
The Chargers could cut Mack after the 2023 season and only have $6 million in dead salary cap space, however.
The move gives the Bears some greater financial flexibility as they pursue players to pair up with quarterback Justin Fields, while also giving them another second round draft pick in a year that they don’t have a first round selection.
As for the Chargers, they are taking full advantage of having quarterback Justin Herbert on his rookie deal, and are pairing Mack with Joey Bosa to create one of the most lethal pass rushes in the AFC. That is especially important considering that the Kansas City Chiefs still have Patrick Mahomes, while the Denver Broncos just acquired Russell Wilson in a blockbuster trade of their own with the Seattle Seahawks.