The NFL whirlwind continues to churn at a rapid pace. First, Aaron Rodgers returns to the Green Bay Packers. Then Russell Wilson gets traded to the Seattle Seahawks, and Carson Wentz goes to the Washington Commanders. Then on Thursday, the Los Angeles Chargers stunned the NFL world by acquiring star pass rusher Khalil Mack from the Chicago Bears.
The Chargers kept this one quiet as can be and landed Mack for a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 sixth-round choice. That’s all, and now the Chargers have a dynamic duo of Joey Bosa and Mack getting after the quarterback.
Furthermore, the acquisition of Mack is a reunion for him and Chargers head coach Brandon Staley, who coached with the Chicago Bears before moving to Denver. Oh, and Mack’s best year in Chicago was with Staley as his coach. That is scary.
Chargers HC Brandon Staley turns back the clock and reunites with Khalil Mack
Staley has ties everywhere, it seems. Von Miller is one guy who spent time with Staley, and Mack is another. Staley’s reputation is good, and now the pair are together again in LA.
Staley and Mack spent just one season together with the Bears, but Mack’s numbers were unbelievable. Staley was the outside linebackers coach for the Bears and Mack ended up finishing second in Defensive Player of the Year voting.
That can’t be a coincidence. Staley knows how to use Mack, and pairing Bosa and Mack together gives the Chargers one of the best pass rushes in the NFL.
If Staley can bring this side out of Mack again, the rest of the AFC is in grave danger.
The Chargers overhaul begins with Mack and they are targeting other prominent names
Mack is just the first domino to fall in LA. With a ton of cap space at the Chargers’ disposal, they are doing their best to find other big-name players.
Staley emphasized the importance of addressing the defense — which is the main reason LA missed out on the playoffs in 2021. Other options include Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson, to name a few.
Tyrann Mathieu has also been a rumored candidate to join LA, although he might price himself out of the running. Nonetheless, reports surfaced that the Chargers aren’t doing yet and are ready to spend big.
The defensive overhaul is far from over, and the Chargers’ acquisition of Mack shows they are serious about contending.
The AFC West continues to shift by the day, and who knows what deal comes next
The AFC West looks much different than it did a few days ago. The Broncos got a significant boost with Wilson and are looked at as a serious Super Bowl contender.
The Kansas City Chiefs still have Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill and are also expected to be active in free agency.
The Chargers added Mack, brought back Mike Williams, and aren’t stopping there. The Las Vegas Raiders also have a busy time ahead with an expected free agency overhaul.
Who takes the crown in 2022? The AFC West is loaded even more than it already was, and the number of primetime games will be unworldly.
The arms race is on, and the Chargers countered the Wilson blockbuster by landing a star of their own.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference