LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 21: Montez Sweat #90 of the Washington Commanders warms up before the preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at FedExField on August 21, 2023 in Landover, Maryland.
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Bears Sign Defender to $98 Million Contract Extension

This past Tuesday, just before the NFL trade deadline, the Washington Commanders traded edge defender Montez Sweat to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick.

The Bears wasted no time in securing Sweat for the long-term, signing him to a four-year extension with $98 million in new money, with over $72 million being guaranteed.

Sweat, who finished his college career at Mississippi State with over 30 sacks, was drafted by the Commanders with the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. As a rookie, Sweat wasted no time making his presence known, recording seven sacks, eight tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles in his first year in the league. From 2020 to 2022, Sweat recorded 22 sacks, 27 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, and one interception that he returned for a touchdown.

Entering the season, Sweat knew that 2023 would be a contract year and was performing at a high level before being traded to Chicago. Through the Commanders first eight games, Sweat recorded 6.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles, putting him well on pace to having a career year by nearly setting career highs in both sacks and tackles for loss in just the first half of the season.

The Bears, who are currently 2-6, are a team who have been at the bottom of the league for quite some time now and despite drafting Justin Fields with the 11th overall pick in the 2021 draft, the Bears have gone 9-25 in the last two seasons. The plan for the Bears at this point seems obvious: build their defense now and address their offense in the draft. They have been drafting and signing players to build up their defense and Sweat has become the highlight of their recent acquisitions and should quickly become a leader on the field and in the locker room. And with two first-round picks that could both be in the top five picks of the 2024 draft, this trade and extension of Sweat has all signs pointing at the Bears going offense with both of those picks in April.

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