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Newly acquired Chicago Bears player Khalil Mack displays his jersey after speaking to the media during an NFL football news conference Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018, at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Ill. (Tim Boyle/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Khalil Mack: Ready to Play For the Chicago Bears

Just five days before the start of the regular NFL season, linebacker Khalil Mack agreed to a six-year, $141 million, $90 million guaranteed contract with the Chicago Bears. Mack’s contract set a record for defensive players.

Ready to Roll

Mack held out playing for the last eight months, missing out on the Oakland Raiders’ offseason program and preseason. Monday at  Halas Hall was the first time he’s practiced since the end of the 2017 season. But despite the layoff, Mack said he’s confident he’ll be able to take on the Packers in a week.

“I want to be great. I want to be known as the best to play the game. And regardless of how you look at it, that’s what it’s all about to me,” said Mack, “I’m going to go out and work hard and make sure I put my step on it.”

FILE – In this Dec. 24, 2016, file photo, Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) rushes against the Indianapolis Colts during an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif. The Chicago Bears have acquired star pass rusher Khalil Mack from the Raiders on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in a massive trade that sends two first-round draft picks to Oakland. A person with direct knowledge of the trade told The Associated Press that Oakland will get first-round selections in 2019 and 2020, a sixth-rounder next year and a third-rounder in 2020. Oakland also included its second-round selection in 2020. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Jon Gruden and the Raiders Are Sorry to See Mack Go

While the Bears were willing to give Mack an contract he desire, the Raiders were not.

Head coach Jon Gruden said the decision for Mack to head to Chicago was made as an organization.

“It wasn’t my goal to trade Khalil when we got here. One of the reasons I’m here is because of him,” said Gruden, “Unfortunatley we had a standoff with the contract and we could not come to terms. The Bears made us an offer, two first-round draft choices and here we are today.”

“I don’t believe we were anywhere close to where the Bears were,” Gruden said. “The Bears made us an offer that we thought was really unique and it was very, very tough to say goodbye to a great player.”

Bears Welcome Mac

Head Coach of the Chicago Bears, Matt Nagy, says his first impressions of Mack are “pretty good.” Nagy says you can sense the team is excited for Mack to be there.

“Khalil is a true professional. The last 24 hours, seeing him in here, diving into the playbook, how hungry he is, how motivated he is,” said Nagy.

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace, left, and head coach Matt Nagy, right, flank newly acquired player Khalil Mack who displays his jersey after speaking with the media during an NFL football news conference Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018, at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Ill. (Tim Boyle/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

 

Nagy said Mack is doing a really good job adjusting to a new team and process.

The Bears will take on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Sept. 9.

 

 

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