It has been a season full of tricks for Bears fans this season. A promise of a potential playoff berth with DJ Moore helping third-year quarterback Justin Fields break out into a star. Instead, Chicago sits with a 2-6 record, Fields will miss his third game in a row with injury, and the coaching staff has been nothing short of a disaster.
However, GM Ryan Poles gave the Bears faithful a little treat on Halloween. For the second year in a row, Chicago moved their second-round pick at the trade deadline, this time to acquire Washington Commanders edge rusher Montez Sweat. Sweat, a former 2019 first-round pick, is in the final year of his deal with Washington after the Commanders declined his fifth-year option. Sources confirmed to Third Down Thursdays that the Bears were in on Chase Young, but it fell through due to Young's knee injuries. In the deal, the Bears sent their second-round pick to Washington, which is currently slated to be pick No. 35 (No. 3 overall in the second round).
Sweat is an immediate upgrade to the Bears' defensive line in both the run and passing game. The Mississippi State alumnus already has the same number of sacks as the entire Bears defensive line at 6.5 while also ranking number one in pass rush win rate (10.6%), QB hits (4), and total pressures (27). Yannick Ngakoue and T.J Edwards are the current leaders at two sacks each. This should open up opportunities for Ngakouke and the rest of the defensive line to get to the quarterback and ease the pressure on the young and battered secondary.
Now as for the run game, Pro-Football Focus rates Sweat as the best run defender among edge rushers, grading him out at 90.5.
The price tag will be steep overall, as not only will the Bears give up their second-round pick, but they will also have to shell out an extension worth potentially over 100 million dollars, according to Sportrac. Despite that, I think this is a worthwhile trade for the Bears to make with the holes they have on the roster. While, yes, cost-controlled draft picks are great to have and a necessity to win in the NFL, it's a mystery box scenario when a trade like this happens. You could get Montez Sweat, or you could draft a mystery player; he could even turn into Montez Sweat.
While he isn't a household name, he is still a good player who will already be a top-3 defensive player for the Bears at one of the three most important positions in football. Chicago sorley needed pass-rushing help for this year and beyond, something that Sweat can provide in addition to his solid run defense. Now, if the Bears keep Jaylon Johnson and extend both of them, this is a massive step forward for the defense and the roster as a whole.
With all that being said, welcome to Chicago Montez Sweat!
We will monitor any discussion on an extension and update you as they come.