What would a trade look like?
In 2022, the Los Angeles Chargers traded a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 sixth-round pick to acquire OLB Khalil Mack from the Chicago Bears. At the time, Mack had a down season for the Bears, playing just seven games, and recording 16 tackles with 6.0 quarterback sacks. It was the first season for Mack not to earn any honors.
Since then, Khalil Mack has played two seasons for the Los Angeles Chargers and earned Pro Bowl honors in each season. In many ways, he delivered exactly what the team needed. In terms of game-play, 2023 was arguably the best season of his 10-year NFL career. In 2023, Mack recorded a phenomenal 17.0 quarterback sacks, 74 tackles, 21 tackles for a loss, 22 quarterback hits, 36 quarterback pressures,10 deflected passes, and five (yes, 5) forced fumbles.
While he was not used in pass coverage often, he only allowed one of two passes thrown to his receiver to find the mark.
So what might a trade look like? Well, considering that he has just one year left on his contract, and the presumption that the Chargers are motivated to make a trade happen, I would imagine a package like this:
The Chargers get a Round 3 pick in 2024, which can be used to draft a rookie replacement, plus up to two picks in 2025. Conditions to trigger the second pick could be based on number of games played, percentage of defensive snaps, or some other insurance for the Rams to get sufficient playing time out of Mack in 2024, the final year of his current contract.
The Chargers dump over $23 million of salary from their payroll, and get a return on a player who could ultimately cut with no return whatsoever.