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Sunday, July 14, 2024

With Khalil Mack Addition, Chargers Could Be Real Contender

  • Elite edge-rusher bolsters area of need when facing AFC West quarterbacks.
  • Veteran had six sacks in seven games with Bears last season.
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports/Design: John Regula

Khalil Mack is back in the AFC West — and the Chargers just took a big step toward contender status.

On Thursday, L.A. agreed to acquire the elite edge-rusher from the Bears in exchange for a 2022 second-round pick and a sixth-rounder in 2023, according to multiple reports. 

The six-time Pro Bowler will join Joey Bosa to address the team’s biggest weakness — and form a defensive line capable of containing Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, and Derek Carr.

  • L.A. was T-29 in points allowed (27.0), 23rd in yards (360.1), and 20th in sacks (35).
  • In 2021, Mack recorded six sacks in seven games due to injuries; in 53 games with Chicago, he had 36 sacks, 35 TFL, 52 QB hits, and 14 FF.
  • The Chargers will take on the remaining three years of the six-year, $141 million extension Mack signed with Chicago.
  • They still have $24.3M in cap space (No. 13 in NFL) despite Mack’s $17.8M hit in 2022 this season.

Their moves this week are reminiscent of the Super Bowl champion Rams, who paired Odell Beckham Jr. with Cooper Kupp and stacked their defense with Aaron Donald and Von Miller.

On Tuesday, L.A. extended WR Mike Williams (three years, $60M), keeping him alongside Keenan Allen for blossoming superstar Justin Herbert.

The Chargers haven’t reached the postseason since 2018, but oddsmakers are getting on board: They have the eighth-best odds to win the Super Bowl (+2000*).

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