Bears will acquire Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack: reports

CHICAGO - AUGUST 29: A general view of the rebuilt Soldier Field stadium, home to the NFL Chicago Bears and the MLS Chicago Fire, on August 29, 2003 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — History shows that Ryan Pace isn’t afraid to pull off a deal — whether on draft day, before the season, or even during it.

Yet even the decision in 2017 to move up a spot to trade for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky pales in comparison to the one Pace pulled off just eight days before the start of the 2018 season.

Per reports from ESPN and the NFL Network, the Bears will acquire linebacker Khalil Mack from the Raiders in exchange for two first-round picks and other compensation. Reporters Adam Schefter and Ian Rapaport were the first with the news.

The Bears and Raiders have yet to confirm the move.

Mack has been holding out the entire training training camp as both sides have stalled in their attempts for a long-term contract. Currently the linebacker is on the fifth-year option on his rookie deal, but hasn’t shown up for preseason workouts in hopes of getting a new contract.

It appeared the holdout would last into the regular season, with Mack even tweeting on Friday that he would miss playing should he remain with Raiders.

The fifth overall pick in the 2014 draft out of Buffalo, Mack has established himself as one of the best rushing linebackers in the NFL during the first four seasons of his career.

He’s accumulated 40 1/2 sacks in 64 games for Oakland, with his career-high in sacks coming in 2015 with 15. Last season he had 10 1/2 sacks with 78 combined tackles and a forced fumble in 16 games with the Raiders.

Outside pass rush is one of the critical parts of Vic Fangio’s defense and the Bears had a few major questions heading into the 2018 season in that area. Leonard Floyd was coming off a serious knee injury when he fractured his hand during the preseason, which will force him to wear a padded cast on his hand to start the season.

The other outside spot was up for grabs during camp, with Sam Acho, Isaiah Irving, Aaron Lynch, and Kylie Fitts all figuring to contend for playing time. Now it appears the Bears have found their man for the other spot opposite Floyd after one of the biggest trades in franchise history.