PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 01: Washington Commanders Defensive End Montez Sweat (90) looks on in the first half during the game between the Washington Commanders and Philadelphia Eagles on October 01, 2023 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA.
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bears Pull Off Shocking Trade to Upgrade Pass Rush

The Chicago Bears and Washington Commanders agreed on the first major blockbuster of the day, hours before the NFL trade deadline.

Washington sent edge rusher Montez Sweat to the Bears, in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, a league source confirms to FanBuzz. NFL Network also confirmed the story via X.

Sweat, 27, is in the final year of his rookie contract and lands on a defense in the throes of a full-fledged rebuild under general manager Ryan Poles. Through the first eight games of the 2023 campaign, Sweat has logged 6.5 sacks while adding 27 total pressures and four quarterback hits.

Commanders general manager Martin Mayhew could be facing an uncertain future in Washington, given that a new ownership group is in place, but managed to acquire a premium draft pick in exchange for a player that the organization likely wasn't going to re-sign this offseason.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, the Bears likely made this trade with the viewpoint that Sweat is part of a long-term solution along the front-seven, at a premium position, and acquiring him at the trade deadline means that Poles won't need to address pass-rush depth with a first-round pick next spring.

So far this season, the Bears have managed only 10 total sacks as a team, which made pass-rush a top priority for this team in the future.

Poles and the Bears have the resources to extend Sweat on a long-term deal, projected to have approximately a league-high $95.7 million in cap space in 2024. It would seam unlikely that Poles and Chicago would trade a second-round pick, for a nine-game rental, given the plethora of needs on both sides of the football the Bears will need to address this offseason, primarily through the draft.

Sweat, originally chosen No. 26 overall in the first-round of the 2019 NFL Draft, has produced 35.5 sacks, 197 total tackles, 47 tackles for loss, and forced nine fumbles through the first 67 games of his career.

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