In a significant trade deal, the Chicago Bears have acquired defensive end Montez Sweat from the Washington Commanders for a 2024 second-round draft pick, pending Sweat’s successful physical examination. The move will bolster Chicago’s struggling defense and significantly improve their pass-rushing capabilities.
Bears general manager Ryan Poles expressed his enthusiasm, stating that Sweat’s addition is not only about adding a great player but also a great person who can elevate their defense.
Montez Sweat’s Contact with Washington Commanders:
Montez Sweat, at 27 years old, is in the final year of his contract with the Commanders. Rather than risk losing him to free agency next year, Washington has opted for a draft pick in the current season.
In addition to this trade, the Commanders have traded another talented defensive end, Chase Young, to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a third-round pick, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Sweat’s arrival in Chicago is seen as a crucial injection of talent into the Bears’ defence, significantly since they had revamped three of their four starters along the defensive line before the 2023 season through free agency and the draft.
The Bears have struggled with their pass rush this season, registering only ten sacks, the lowest in the NFL, and ranking 30th in pressures. Sweat, with 6.5 sacks in eight games this season, brings an impressive career total of 35.5 sacks over five seasons.
The 2024 second-round draft pick that the Bears sent to Washington currently holds the No. 35 spot in the draft order. It’s worth noting that in the 2022 trade deadline, the Bears had traded their second-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for wide receiver Chase Claypool, who was later moved to the Miami Dolphins after just ten games in Chicago.
For the Washington Commanders, this trade signifies a shift in response to their losing record and the challenge of keeping their defensive line intact. Sweat and Young are set to become free agents after the current season. The Commanders have recently committed to substantial contracts for defensive tackles Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen over the past two seasons.
While there were initial intentions to extend Montez Sweat’s contract in the offseason, negotiations were hindered by ownership changes and remained unfruitful. Similar commitments were made to Chase Young, contingent on his performance during the season.
Despite the significant investments in their defensive line, the Commanders’ defense has yet to yield the desired results. While they rank sixth in the league for sacks with 25, they are only 23rd in pass rush win rate. Among defensive linemen, Chase Young holds the fifth position in this category, but none of his fellow linemates rank within the top 55.
Washington initially drafted Montez Sweat with the 26th pick in the 2019 NFL draft after the team traded back into the first round. He quickly became a full-time starter and has consistently demonstrated his productivity, though he has yet to surpass nine sacks in a single season.
Impressively, he is among the select group of players who have achieved at least five loads in each of the past five seasons, alongside notable names such as Chris Jones, Myles Garrett, T.J. Watt, Khalil Mack, Maxx Crosby, and Brian Burns, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Montez Sweat is not only known for his pass-rushing abilities but also his strong performance as a run defender and remarkable durability. In the 2021 season, he faced adversity by missing seven games due to a broken jaw, sitting out one week due to COVID, and two additional games after his brother’s tragic shooting.
However, throughout his four other seasons, Sweat has demonstrated exceptional durability, having not missed a single game.
The trade of Montez Sweat to the Chicago Bears is poised to have a significant impact on both teams. Chicago aims to strengthen its struggling defense, particularly its pass rush, while Washington repositions itself in light of their challenging season and the contractual situations of crucial players.
Montez Sweat’s career as a formidable pass rusher, coupled with his reputation as a durable and reliable defender, makes him a valuable asset for the Bears as they seek to enhance their performance in the second half of the season.