The 2-6 Chicago Bears have bought pass rush aid ahead of the NFL's trade deadline today.
The Bears and Washington Commanders are in agreement on a trade that sends edge rusher Montez Sweat to Chicago in exchange for a second-round pick, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Tuesday, per sources informed of the swap. The Bears have since announced the trade.
Sweat is a pending free agent after the season.
The Bears desperately needed to bolster their pass rush. Chicago ranks last in the NFL with 10 sacks on the season and has just 46 pressures through eight games, tied for the lowest pressure percentage (14.4) with the Las Vegas Raiders. Yannick Ngakoue and linebacker T.J. Edwards are tied for the team lead with two sacks.
"Montez is a huge addition to our team," said general manager Ryan Poles, via the team's website. "He is not is not only a great player but a great person. We expect him to help elevate our defense."
Sweat immediately bolsters the group. The former first-round pick led the Commanders with 6.5 sacks through eight games in 2023 and has 27 total pressures, per PFF. In four and a half seasons in Washington, Sweat has generated 35.5 sacks.
The Commanders have spent a lot on their defensive line, having already inked Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen to big-money contracts. Washington also dealt Chase Young to the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday, per Rapoport.
Getting second- and third-round picks for players whom they could lose in free agency is a solid move for the 3-5 Commanders.
It's the second year in a row that Bears general manager Ryan Poles shipped out a second-round pick for a player at the trade deadline. Last year's gambit with Chase Claypool went horribly. Chicago will hope it's better this time around.
The pick headed to Washington currently sits at No. 35 overall. That's a steep price for a player on an expiring contract. Chicago has plenty of cap space to sign Sweat long-term, and with the dearth of pass rush in the Windy City, it should be a priority for Poles.
Of course, Bears fans will wonder why they couldn't have gone after Sweat in free agency without surrendering a second-round pick. At the very least, getting the pass rusher in-house now provides the Bears a jump on inking Sweat to a multi-year deal. But was it worth a second-rounder?