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Armed with a record extension after a blockbuster trade
12-31-2019, 08:36 AM,
Post: #1
Armed with a record extension after a blockbuster trade
http://www.thebearslockerroom.com/authen...ter-jersey , Khalil Mack is looking forward to a fresh start with the Chicago Bears.The two-time All-Pro said he is “glad I’m here” and “blessed” after a contract holdout with the Oakland Raiders ended with the star pass rusher getting dealt in a massive move on Saturday.“It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s been exciting,” Mack said Sunday. “It’s new and I’m looking forward to it. I really can’t wait. I’m itching. It’s been a long time since I played football.”He held out for the entire offseason and preseason trying to secure a long-term deal rather than play under the final year of his rookie contract that would have earned him $13.8 million.The Bears paid a big price, giving him a six-year, $141 million extension that guarantees $90 million. That made him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, a day after the Rams‘ Aaron Donald agreed to a six-year, $135 million deal, with $87 million guaranteed.Chicago sent Oakland first-round selections in 2019 and 2020, a sixth-rounder next year and a third-rounder in 2020. The Bears got a second-round selection in 2020 — which Pace called “a critical piece for us” — and a conditional fifth-rounder that year.Mack acknowledged there is “absolutely” pressure that comes with a huge contract.“But just based on how hard I worked and how hard I play, I want to be able to go out and show why — and that’s just me,” he said. “I’ve always thought of myself as the best defensive player in the league and I want to play like the best defensive player in the league. I want to be the best at what I do, and that’s just me. That’s what comes with Mack. Good response?”What he brings could be a game changer for a franchise with four straight last-place finishes in the NFC North. That’s why general manager Ryan Pace decided to check with Oakland if Mack might be available.“This is a premier player at a premier position, and this doesn’t come around that often Womens Danny Trevathan Jersey ,” Pace said. “So when it does come around, I’m just proud that I work for an organization that’s willing to be aggressive in these times, and that Matt and I have the support to be aggressive, and that starts with ownership.”The 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Mack has played in every game since the Raiders drafted him fifth overall in 2014. He has 231 primary tackles, 40½ sacks and nine forced fumbles.Coach Matt Nagy wasn’t sure if Mack would play in the opener at Green Bay. But when he does suit up, a defense that ranked 10th overall last season figures to get a boost.The Bears have speed and athleticism on the edge with Mack and Leonard Floyd. They also believe they added a potential cornerstone player when they drafted inside linebacker Roquan Smith with the No. 8 overall pick.“Our goal from the start here has been to win the Super Bowl,” coach Matt Nagy said. “Now, there’s ways to get to that. … So does this help us? You know, you would think, yeah, obviously it helps you, but how are we going to get to that point? There’s so many variables that go into it.”He’s glad he no longer has to worry about game planning to face Mack. Nagy got his fill going against him in the AFC West as a member of Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City.Mack’s arrival adds to the buzz that was already brewing around the Bears. They hired the offense-minded Nagy and brought in some playmaking targets for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky Cody Whitehair Jersey , including former Jacksonville Pro Bowl receiver Allen Robinson.The Bears believe they have the QB and pass rusher they need to lift a franchise with one playoff appearance since the 2006 Super Bowl season.“You could say a lot of different things, but until I go out there and play, I’m not a big talker,” Mack said. “I like to go out and use my actions to speak, and when I get out there and get on the field, you can probably sense what’s going to happen. But I want to win, you know what I mean? Everybody wants to win. This team wants to win, and championship’s definitely the goal.”NOTES: To make room for Mack, Chicago released C Hroniss Grasu on Sunday. … The Bears placed TE Adam Shaheen (sprained ankle, foot) on injured reserve, though they expect him to return this season. Pace said Shaheen does not need surgery. … Chicago signed DL Nick Williams.___ LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was obviously thrilled when he found out about the trade for two-time All-Pro Khalil Mack last weekend.Fangio is eager to work with Mack after the Bears pulled off a blockbuster deal with Oakland on Saturday, jolting a franchise with four straight last-place finishes.The trade capped a busy offseason that saw the Bears mostly load up around quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Fangio now has one of the best pass rushers in the NFL leading an already solid defense http://www.thebearslockerroom.com/authen...ard-jersey , not a bad consolation after he got passed over for the head coaching job in favor of Matt Nagy.The Bears suddenly seem like contenders for a playoff spot. But Fangio wasn’t about to plan any parades.He has plenty to do this week, working in a new superstar while scheming to face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in a primetime opener at Lambeau Field on Sunday night. It’s not clear how much Mack will play, though he obviously figures to give the defense a huge boost whenever he steps on the field.“Well, I would say (Mack) could be a major help to us,” Fangio said. “Any time you get a player of his ability it can do nothing but help make you better, helps make the players around him better, but he’s been the same player in Oakland throughout his career, very well decorated and a lot of honors that he deserved and Oakland was never better than mid-20s in defense, so one guy doesn’t make a whole unit, as pretty evident by that.”The Raiders ranked in the 20s on defense in each of Mack’s four seasons. But he’s joining a unit that was 10th overall last year.Now, the Bears are adding a player with 40½ sacks, and nine forced fumbles in his four seasons. Mack also leads all players with 185½ quarterback pressures and ranks second with 68 tackles for loss since entering the league, according to SportRadar.It’s not hard for Fangio to envision more opportunities for Leonard Floyd on the opposite edge with opponents keying on Mack. He sees the same for the inside linebackers and the defensive backs Womens Akiem Hicks Jersey , with quarterbacks under more pressure.“It’s a chain reaction, a domino effect and hopefully, that’s what we’ll see,” Fangio said.The question is how soon.Mack sat out the entire offseason and preseason with Oakland trying to get a long-term extension rather than play under the final year of his rookie contract. He wound up getting a six-year, $141 million extension that guarantees him $90 million and makes him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.“I think for Khalil and us in general it’s just going to be knowing where he’s at mentally with Vic’s system and then understanding where he is physically and matching the two together,” Nagy said. “We’re not going to know really until we get into it and we just kind of gauge it.”Like Mack, rookie inside linebacker Roquan Smith is playing catch-up. The No. 8 overall draft pick held out the first three weeks of training camp before agreeing to a four-year contract that guarantees him $18.5 million. He has dealt with a tight left hamstring the past three weeks. And Floyd is getting used to playing with a casted club on his broken right hand.“These guys are very talented,” Mack said. “You see the skillsets that they have. We’re only trying to get better. That’s the only thing I’m asking from the group, that we all get better and hold each other accountable.
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