The Chargers are Shopping Khalil Mack and He’d be a Great Fit for the Minnesota Vikings

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers
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Still one of the best edge-rushers in the game, Chargers Pro Bowl edge-rusher Khalil Mack could be on the move. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the eight-time Pro-Bowler is a possible trade candidate for the Chargers and is being looked at by several teams:

“(Mack) is one in particular that I know multiple teams I’ve spoken to have an eye on because he had the 17 sacks a year ago. Huge cap hit and [the Chargers] can save $20-plus million on their cap if they were to trade or move on. Maybe there’s a trade possibility for a team in need of a pass rusher and there will be many in that market around free agency.”

Jeremy Fowler, ESPN

If the Chargers were to move on from Mack, they’d free up over $20M in cap space. Additionally, they could gain valuable assets in return from a team that desperately needs a big-time playmaker on the edge. This is where the Minnesota Vikings could come in.

I know fans have been brainwashed into thinking the Vikings are broke but they actually have some of the most cap space available throughout the league. It’s just about how they decide to use it.

Is Khalil Mack a good fit for the Minnesota Vikings?

khalil mack
Photo: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Whether the Vikings move on from Danielle Hunter or not Mack could make sense. Minnesota’s defense was average at best last season. Per ESPN Stats & Info, Brian Flores’s unit finished middle-of-the-pack in sacks (43) and 25th in opposing passer rating (95.2). That’s not good enough, especially with Jared Goff and Jordan Love standing tall in the division.

If Minnesota could hold onto their four-time Pro Bowl edge-rusher in Hunter and pair him with a future Hall-of-Famer in Mack, this team would have arguably the best duo coming off the edge in the sport. Remember, despite Mack’s trade rumors, he set a career-high in sacks with a whopping 17.0 in 2023. The pressure up front from this duo could help out a defensive backfield that gave up the eighth-most passing yards in 2023 (3,986).

Related: Former Vikings GM Says Danielle Hunter Wants $25 Million Per Year in New Deal

Keep in mind that if the Vikings also decide to bring back signal-caller Kirk Cousins, they’d have a host of established veterans to guide this team, as well. Players like Cousins, Mack, Hunter, Justin Jefferson, Harrison Smith (if he decides to keep playing), and Jordan Hicks would be the leadership staples of this team.

Production on the field is just as important as leadership in the locker room. And if the Vikings let Hunter walk in free agency, then that’s even more reason to make a move on Mack, since Kwesi would have a large hole to fill at EDGE rusher.

The Risks

Every trade does indeed have its risks. Despite coming off of a career-high season for Mack, he did just turn 33 years of age. 2023 was also his first season eclipsing double-digit sacks since the 2018 season when he was with the Chicago Bears. So, age and decline of production could be a fear. GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah would have a lot to think about.

Additionally, the Vikings would need to ask themselves what they are willing to give up. If they believe that they can become contenders again with a possible Kirk Cousins return, why not go for a trade? But after Mack’s season last year, a trade would likely require a 2nd or 3rd-round pick. Is that something Mensah is willing to do? That is the question.

Related: Kirk Cousins Posts Strategically Timed Workout Videos as NFL Arrives at Scouting Combine

In the end, this is one of those big moves that tells the fan base what direction the team is headed in. But if Kirk Cousins is retained and Minnesota decides not to give Hunter away, why not go all-in and trade for Khalil Mack? Why not acquire an old NFC North rival that has a history of wreaking havoc in the division?

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