Bears get Khalil Mack, but don’t be mad at Brian Gutekunst


The Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers are the NFL’s oldest rivalry. In 196 games dating back to 1921, the Packers lead the all-time series 96-94-6.

But early Saturday morning, the Bears scored a big win with the acquisition of Khalil Mack.

Reports had surfaced that the Packers were amongst the teams looking into a trade for Mack. The Raiders were said to be asking for two first-round picks in exchange for Mack. The Packers are the only team in the NFL that has two first-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. The stars were aligning for a possible blockbuster deal…

And then the Bears struck with a bombshell first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

So, what’s the compensation? Did the Packers low-ball the Raiders? NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport provided some early details.

From the Raiders’ perspective, this is pretty simple. Let’s just assume the Bears gave up “only” two first-round picks — this year and next — for Mack. And let’s assume Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst offered his two first-round picks for 2019 — the Saints’ and their own.

Option No. 1 — The Raiders get a first-round pick this year from a team led by second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, and another first-round pick next year in Trubisky’s third year.

Option No. 2 — The Raiders get two first-round picks this year, one from a team led by Aaron Rodgers and the other by Drew Brees.

You do the math.

That’s a hefty price to pay, no matter how you slice it. Was Khalil Mack worth it? I think so. I wrote about that earlier this month when the rumors really started heating up.

If I were a Bears fan, I’m doing cartwheels.

But that doesn’t mean Packers fans should be mad at Gutekunst.

We may never know what the Packers truly offered. But if all things were equal, in terms of pick-for-player compensation, then it’s pretty easy to understand why the Bears won out.

This is just a case of one offer being better than the other. Nothing more, nothing less. The Packers will (likely) see Mack on Sunday night at Lambeau Field — unfortunately, he’ll be on the other sideline.