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Khalil Mack coming back to AFC West

Former Raiders’ star traded from Bears to the Chargers

Chicago Bears v Las Vegas Raiders
Khalil Mack
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Khalil Mack is coming home ... sort of.

The former Raiders’ star pass rusher is headed back to the AFC West as he is being traded from the Chicago Bears to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Four years ago, the notion of Mack playing for the hated Chargers would have been unheard of, but life in the NFL moves fast. After a financial clash with former Raiders’ coach Jon Gruden, Mack — who won the NFL Defensive Player of the year award with the Raiders in 2016 — was traded for a package of picks (including picks that turned out to be first-round picks Josh Jacobs and Damon Arnette) in 2018.

Now, after dealing with some injuries, the 31 year old is headed to the Chargers. He and fellow pass rusher Joey Bosa will form a dynamic tandem. Mack starred under Chargers’ head coach Brandon Staley in Chicago. Mack, who had a strong game in a win over the Raiders in 2021, now gets to chase close friend and 2014 draft classmate Derek Carr twice a season.

It was a stunning defensive answer by the Chargers to counter the first big AFC West trade news of this week — as the Denver Broncos traded for future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson on Tuesday.

Now, the division is heavy with great quarterback and pass-rush play. It’s crazy times in the AFC West and surely new Raiders leaders Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler know they must make some moves of their own to keep up.