Jon Gruden and the Raiders apparently would be interested in a do-over on the blockbuster Khalil Mack trade from 2018, but Ryan Pace called one-two-three, no tradebacks. According to Vic Tafur, the Raiders called the Bears before free agency opened this year and asked if they would be open to trading Mack back to Las Vegas. Per Tafur’s report, the answer was no, and so the Raiders moved on to sign Yannick Ngakoue.
The Bears did have significant salary cap issues they had to work through this offseason, so the call from Las Vegas wasn’t ridiculous. Akiem Hicks’ name was bandied about in trade rumors, and Pace eventually had to cut Kyle Fuller and Charles Leno just to make enough room to sign the incoming rookie class.
But the Bears weren’t about to make the same mistake that the Raiders did three years ago by parting ways with one of the league’s most impactful players. Ever since that move, they’ve been looking for a consistent pass rush too. In the three years since, Las Vegas has averaged only 22 sacks per season. In 2018 alone, the Raiders could only muster 13 sacks as a team, while Mack dropped the quarterback 12.5 times by himself in Chicago.
But when the two teams met in London in 2019, it was the Raiders who got the last laugh. Las Vegas won the game 24-21, largely on the back of Josh Jacobs, who the Raiders acquired with one of the first-round draft picks they got in the trade. Mack on the other hand was limited to three tackles, none of which went for a loss.
The Bears and Raiders square off again this year, in Week 5. Will Las Vegas get the better of Mack again? Or will he flip the script and make Gruden miss him all over again?