This Chargers Star Defender May Be Disappointing In 2024

Khalil Mack, Chargers
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers underwent major changes during the 2024 offseason. Given a rough salary cap situation, the team said goodbye to several key contributors from recent seasons.

That leaves new head coach Jim Harbaugh in a tough spot for Year 1. This will be a bit of a rebuilding season for the team as he looks to reset the franchise more in his vision.

One of the key veterans that he will still get to work with is edge rusher Khalil Mack. Mack was on the chopping block earlier this offseason as the team sought ways to get under the salary cap.

He ended up being retained, as it was wide receiver Mike Williams who was released for salary relief. Fellow wide receiver Keenan Allen was then traded to the Chicago Bears to save more money.

In free agency, the team also lost running back Austin Ekeler and tight end Gerald Everett. With so many of Justin Herbert’s weapons departing, the defense will need to step up to help fill the void.

Mack is one of the leaders that Harbaugh will be relying on defensively. He was dominant in 2023, recording 17 sacks with 21 tackles for loss, 22 quarterback hits, 36 pressures, five force fumbles and 10 passes defended.

Will the Chargers receive a repeat performance in 2024? In the opinion of Anthony DiBona of Pro Football Network, it won’t happen.

DiBona recently put together a piece highlighting one player from each team in the NFL that will take a step back in 2024. For the Chargers, his selection was Mack.

“Khalil Mack turned back the clock last season. After failing to record double-digit sacks in the previous four seasons, he recorded 17 a year ago! Joey Bosa will likely start more than five games, and with the growth of Tuli Tuipulotu, Mack will likely take a step back in 2024 at 33 years old,” DiBona wrote.

2023 was a major resurgence for the star pass rusher. Expecting 17 sacks from him again would be unrealistic for several reasons, as DiBona noted.

But, he has proven he still has something left in the tank to provide. Keep an eye on him as a trade candidate in 2024 as well.

If the Chargers fall out of the playoff race, teams could start calling about Mack’s availability. He is set to be a free agent in 2025 and if Los Angeles isn’t planning to bring him back, trading him for some assets ahead of the deadline makes sense.

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