The biggest trade of the year is on, according to multiple reports this morning. Oakland is trading edge rusher Khalil Mack to Chicago for a package that should include two first-round picks plus other compensation. Mack would then likely agree to a new long-term contract with Chicago.
Mack is probably one of the few players worth that money and those picks. You're talking about a dominating defensive player in his prime. He'll have even more impact in Chicago where he'll have better teammates around him on defense and a better coordinator. At the same time, Mack is an example of the limited impact a single defensive player can have compared to the impact of a quarterback. The Raiders ranked 29th in defensive DVOA last year, with Mack having a great season. The year before, they ranked 22nd in defensive DVOA and he was Defensive Player of the Year.
At the same time, you trade for first-round picks so you can find players as good as Mack. Those aren't players you trade away. And the Bears can afford the big contract because they've got three more years (plus option year) on Mitchell Trubisky on a rookie deal. Now they just have to hope Trubisky develops because, as we often say, offense is more consistent than defense.
UPDATE: The official tally is in. The Bears acquired Mack, a 2020 second-round pick, and a conditional 2020 fifth-round pick from the Raiders in exchange for a 2019 first-round pick, a 2020 first-round pick, a 2020 third-round pick, and a 2019 sixth-round pick.
UPDATE 2: And the next domino to fall, Mack is now the highest-paid defensive player in the league, passing Aaron Donald. They handed him a six-year, $141 million deal with $90 million guaranteed and a $60 million signing bonus. Mack will be in Chicago through his age-33 season.