The Chicago Bears continue to curiously zig while every else zags. Hours before the trade deadline, and with rumors swirling about potentially trading their best cornerback, the team went out and traded for Montez Sweat.
Chicago is acquiring Sweat from the Washington Commanders for a 2024 second-round pick, which will likely be inside of the top 40 of the NFL Draft.
Commanders Trade EDGE Montez Sweat to Bears
The Bears’ defense has lacked a true pass-rushing presence on the edge for years now. Sweat is on an expiring contract, so Chicago will almost certainly extend him shortly after he arrives in Chicago.
Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus obviously decided they needed a pass rusher more than they needed to get a long-term deal done with Jaylon Johnson at CB.
Washington needed to decide between Sweat and Chase Young. Considering the difference in time on the field, production, and draft position, it makes sense to make this move for them. They will likely owe Young less than they would have Sweat, with Sweat possibly being the more valuable trade piece.
A MASSIVE boost to Chicago’s front seven. 🔥
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) October 31, 2023
There’s no denying the Bears’ need for a pass rusher. Additionally, the EDGE class in the 2024 NFL Draft is surprisingly thin at the top, considering how talented the class is as a whole.
Adding a known commodity is a fine move to make at such an important position. But at the same time, that pick is currently projected to be No. 35 overall in the draft, and now, they must also pay top dollar to keep Sweat in a Bears uniform for the future.
But through Week 8, only the Las Vegas Raiders have a worse pressure rate, according to Pro Football Reference. Chicago’s 10 sacks are five less than the next-worst teams. They posted the second-worst pressure rate a season ago and only managed 20 sacks, the worst mark in the NFL.
What Else Do the Bears Need at the Deadline and Beyond?
The Bears could end up with two picks inside of the top five of the 2024 NFL Draft. There’s also a chance that they own each of the top two selections between their own and the Panthers’ pick.
The Bears have a ton of different needs. Cornerback is already a need, but Chicago seems keen on trading away their best cornerback instead of paying him.
MORE: Chicago Bears Depth Chart
Their offensive line is still a work in progress, and they could use more help on the defensive line, both on the interior and on the edges.
Oftentimes, we see new front offices come in and “clean house” on the roster of the previous regime’s players. But Poles and company might be taking that to a new level.
It’s worth noting that it was Ryan Pace and not Poles who drafted Justin Fields.