The Jalen Ramsey trade made the Bears’ Khalil Mack deal look even better

With his offense reeling, his quarterback hurt and his team a disappointing 3-2, Bears general manager Ryan Pace got a win Tuesday night.

SHARE The Jalen Ramsey trade made the Bears’ Khalil Mack deal look even better
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The Bears traded for Khalil Mack on Sept. 1, 2018.

AP Photos

With his offense reeling, his quarterback hurt and his team a disappointing 3-2, Bears general manager Ryan Pace got a win Tuesday night.

That’s because the Rams, amazingly, gave up more for Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey — first-round picks in 2020 and 2021, plus a fourth-rounder in 2021—than the Bears did for star outside linebacker Khalil Mack.

The same Ramsey missed three games this year with a back injury and fought with his head coach on the sideline in another. In his career, Ramsey’s been suspended for two games for fighting and a week during the 2018 preseason for threatening media members who filmed a training camp brawl.

The Bears gave up first-round picks in 2019 and 2020, a third-round pick in 2020 and a sixth-round pick in 2019 for Mack — but they got a 2020 second-round pick, plus a conditional fifth-rounder, back from the Raiders.

Which player would you rather have?

What trade would you rather make?

When the Bears went all-in for Mack, he became only the ninth player in 32 years to be dealt for two first-round picks. It’d been nine years since the last such move — ironically, when the Bears dealt for Jay Cutler.

Since the Mack trade, it’s happened twice.

On Aug. 31, the Texans traded first-round picks in 2020 and 2021, plus a second-rounder in 2021 and two fringe players, to the Dolphins for standout tackle Laremy Tunsil, receiver Kenny Stills, a fourth-round pick in 2020 and a sixth in 2021.

Neither Tunsil nor Ramsey has signed a contract extension, but they hold all the leverage. For either to walk away after the 2020 season would mark their general manager —or, in the Texans’ case, a head coach masquerading as one —as a fool.

Mack, meanwhile, signed a $141 million contract within 24 hours that made him the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player.He’s proved his worth since.

Coach Matt Nagy smiled Thursday when asked if the Bears started a trend. He was hesitant, though, to find a reason for the trades’ surge in popularity, saying such decisions were unique to each team.

“I think that every team, kind of where they’re at, do they see, are they a win-now team? Are they a team that’s looking for future ones and draft picks?” he said. “Where you’re at, that can all come into play. So, it is rare.

“To see that speaks volumes about the player that they’re trading for. It’s kind of, to each their own.”

The Bears’ own has aged well.

“He’s someone that has got that flexibility, he’s got that burst to close and he’s also got that ability to force fumbles and create havoc,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “He’s a fantastic player.”

Mack’s so-so showing against the Raiders saved face for head coach Jon Gruden, who was roundly criticized for allowing Mack to be traded. He told his team afterward it was the most fun he’d had coaching.

Bears outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino said the Raiders made sure he would be the last player to beat them.It was a point of pride.

“They’re not going to let that guy wreck the game,” he said. “Not in Oakland, they’re not going to let that guy wreck the game.

“You can’t let that guy walk out of the building and then have him wreck your game.”

The Jaguars’ won’t treat Ramsey that way, if they ever face him. The Dolphins won’t give Tunsil that treatment.

None will have the regret the Raiders must feel. Or, the motivation Mack must have one game — and one bye week —later.

“I think he’s ready,” Monachino said. “I think he’s going to be popping out of his skin come Sunday.”

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