The new haul of Chicago Bears free agents may not be as lucrative a group as last year, but they certainly don’t lack for talent. Mike Davis boosts the running back position with his nice mix of power, quickness, and versatility. Cordarrelle Patterson is a top kick returner and part-time offensive weapon. Buster Skrine is a tough and scrappy corner. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is a former Pro Bowl safety in his prime.

That’s not a bad group considering the Bears weren’t exactly swimming in salary cap space. So that begs the question. If it wasn’t a healthy payday that drove those men to Chicago, what was? The simple answer is they wanted to join a winning team. The Bears are fresh off a 12-4 season and are reigning division champions.

They’re young and look like a team that’s ready for a deep playoff run. All they need is a few more pieces in the right place. However, that is too simple an explanation. There had to be deeper reasons right? As it turns out, there is. When talking to each of the new free agents about their motivations for coming to Chicago, one name kept popping up.

Chicago Bears free agents were excited to play with Khalil Mack

If there’s a lesson to be learned about professional sports? It’s this. Never underestimate the value of having a superstar on your roster. It can easily be a motivation for other players to want to play with him. In the Bears’ case, that is Khalil Mack. Their blockbuster trade to acquire him last year was meant to make the defense great. That much has come to pass.

However, it seems his impact goes beyond just on the field. His reputation is serving to entice others to join Chicago as well. Davis expressed as much in a simple line.

“Khalil Mack is everything, man. He’s everything as advertised. The entire defense is great, man.”

He wasn’t alone. Patterson affirmed a similar desire to be on the same roster as Mack. After all, he’d already experienced it once before with the Oakland Raiders back in 2017 and was suitably wowed by it.

“He’s one of the best — if not the best — defensive players I’ve ever been around. Not just in a game but in practice, man. He’s a monster.”

There is no doubt that Mack has a presence. He’ll likely be in the Hall of Fame one day. Getting a chance to play with somebody of that talent level in his prime is a rare honor. Doing so and being able to win and get paid millions of dollars at the same time? Yeah, that sounds like a pretty sweet setup.