However, the team has since moved on from the former Pro Bowl defensive all-star.
With what the Bears spent to get Mack, and what they got in return for getting rid of him, some wonder if the trade in 2018 was worth it.
There’s two sides to this story for fans to examine to see if that trade was worth it for Chicago.
Mack Brought Instant Success To Bears Defense In 2018
When examining the short-term of the Mack deal, it was worth it for Chicago.
He helped energize a Bears defense that was one of the best in 2018.
Just 14 more days #Bears fans!
The defense put forth one of their most dominating performances of the year, registering 4 interceptions and 3 sacks.
Watch their D ruin Jared Goff's night below🐻⬇️ pic.twitter.com/q5pQvIQMyX
— The Brawl Network ™️ (@NetworkBrawl) August 22, 2019
However, that great defense was wasted away by their offense in 2018.
From missed field goals to missed touchdown opportunities, Chicago’s offense let their defense down in some games.
But even with those squandered opportunities, the Bears still won the NFC North title in 2018.
So there was success with Mack and the defense despite the offensive performance.
That made for a short-term success of him in Chicago that fans loved.
However, we can’t just look at the short-term with the Mack trade.
Mack Suffered Injuries With Chicago That Hampered His Career
With the hype over Mack being the best defensive player in Chicago, he had a lot of pressure on him.
But that pressure, along with injuries, would hamper the potential long-term success of him with Chicago.
In 2020, he had a knee injury that would, as some would see it, slow him down on defense.
In 2021, his foot injury during a game with the Browns would end his season.
While he played for four games injured, it proved to only make matters worse for him.
He required surgery on his foot, which is why he missed most of the 2021 season.
While he’s a player that plays no matter what, that mindset might have led to his decline in Chicago.
The pressure to perform, regardless of how he felt, is something he cracked from.
Instead of taking time off when hurt, he played through the pain.
Three thoughts on Khalil Mack today.
1. Ankle injuries, even minor ones, can be a gateway to a bigger injury affecting the knee or Achilles.
2. I don't care if the guy is "70% healthy" right now, he is 0% effective.
3. #Bears should sit him.
— Ross Read (@RossRead) October 24, 2018
While it’s something that most players don’t do, it can be something that bites players later in their career.
However, Mack put his team over his health.
But doing so hurt his career in Chicago as his numbers declined.
Lack Of Offensive Help And Loss Of Defensive Players Ruined Trade Deal
In the end, the trade for Mack was wasted by Chicago.
They didn’t keep the best players from that 2018 Bears defense that ranked as the best that season.
Also, Mack and his defense never saw help from their offense.
Poor management from the general manager and head coach turned a great trade deal into a total waste.
Had Mack kept improving on his 2018 numbers, he might still be in Chicago.
However, Chicago made a trade with the Los Angeles Chargers for a small fraction of what they paid to get Mack.
That ultimately makes the original deal a bust for Chicago, as they gave up a lot of draft picks to get him.