Bears pull off shocking trade for standout pass rusher Montez Sweat
Eric Hartline - USA Today Sports

Bears pull off shocking trade for standout pass rusher Montez Sweat

by - Senior Writer -

As if things couldn't get any worse for the Bears. Not only does Justin Fields remain out as his status remains week to week, but now there are reports that Jaylon Johnson not only wants to be traded, but has been granted permission to seek a trade. That isn't something you want to hear for a guy who tried so hard to get a contract extension this offseason only to come away empty-handed.

Given that this is deadline day, many feel that Johnson will be traded at some point today, which will hurt an already struggling defense. Well, things may have changed as the Bears just pulled off a shocking trade with the Washington Commanders as they have traded a second-round pick to Washington in exchange for Montez Sweat. For a rebuilding team that wants to have as many picks as possible, trading away assets isn't ideal, especially when it is a second-rounder.

However, to give up just a second-rounder for a player as skilled as Sweat has to be considered a steal, as Ryan Poles swung for the fences and hit a homer with this one. The biggest reason for the Bears struggles the past two seasons has been a defense that can't stop anyone. Having the worst pass rush in the NFL does that to you, as the Bears have traded away virtually every single pass rusher they had.

Knowing they needed to improve the pass rush to get better on defense, Poles focused on youth in the draft with Gervon Dexter and Zaach Pickens, but neither has done much during their rookie season. Adding Yannick Ngakoue via free agency was seen as a huge move, but even he has been less than appealing thus far as the Bears pass rush continues to be a problem.

With most expecting the Bears to be sellers at the deadline, Chicago shocked the world and pulled off the first trade of deadline day by nabbing one of the better pass rushers in Sweat. The former first-round pick of the Commanders in 2019, Sweat is in the final year of his rookie deal and has been seeking a contract extension for the better part of the year. Now in Chicago, Sweat has an opportunity to be the pass rusher the Bears have been waiting for while he could play himself into a long-term extension this offseason.

Since coming into the league, Sweat has not only been a consistent player but one that offensive coordinators have nightmares about, as he can be a true game-wrecker. Through eight weeks this season, Sweat has logged 197 career tackles while also tallying 35.5 sacks. Sweat has also forced nine fumbles to go with one defensive TD, as he has a knack for being around the ball and making plays.

In case you are wondering why the Bears would make this move, considering they are going nowhere this season, it was a decision to improve their biggest weakness not only this season but could improve it long-term if an extension can be reached. Through seven games this season, Sweat has been busy as he logged 27 tackles and 5.5 sacks so far. He also forced two fumbles as he continued to be one of the more consistent players on that Washington front seven.

With him coming to Chicago, it will give the Bears two legitimate pass rushers for the first time in forever, as he will be lined up on the other side of Ngakoue to create problems for the offensive line. Sweat instantly becomes the focal point of the Bears defense which should open things up for Ngakoue and others to make tons more plays. Even if he isn't extended beyond this season, Sweat is coming into an ideal situation where he can prove his worth to land that lengthy deal.

Should he play close to the level he did with Washington, Sweat is on pace for an 11-12 sack season, which would not only lead the Bears but would shatter his previous high of nine. Either way, great move by Poles as this could be the start of a busy day.

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