Bears Trade Target: Matthew Judon
Robert Deutsch - USA Today Sports

Bears Trade Target: Matthew Judon

by - Senior Writer -

Despite the Bears' coming away with one of the best, if not the best, offseasons thus far, one glaring weakness could make or break this season. For the better part of two seasons, the Bears have had one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL, which continued most of last year until they added Montez Sweat.

Now that Sweat is locked up for the foreseeable future, the Bears will have someone who can consistently get after the QB for the first time since Khalil Mack. However, his presence alone isn't enough, as the Bears still need to address the pass rush for them to get to the next level as a team. They failed to do that in the draft or free agency thus far, but with guys like Yannick Ngakoue still on the market Chicago still has an opportunity to add to their defense.

However, Ryan Poles may not be looking to add a free-agent pass rusher at this point. Instead, he may be looking to trade for a running mate to pair with Sweat. One team to keep an eye on is the New England Patriots, and the one player to keep an eye on in potential trade talks could be Matthew Judon.

Given the state the Patriots are in right now, they will be in a prime position to be sellers this season. Judon could be at the top of the list regarding players getting dealt, and the Bears should be one of the teams looking to trade for him if that is the case. Judon has quietly risen to be one of the more consistent pass rushers over the past four seasons, and being in the final year of his contract in New England, he has become an expendable piece to move on from.

With New England going through a rebuild and the Bears needing an EDGE rusher, this seems like an ideal fit should the sides figure out a package that could work. Although this is only a mock trade at this point, one package being put together would be the Bears getting Judon in exchange for three picks. Those picks include a 2025 second and fifth-rounder and a 2026 sixth-rounder. The second-rounder is the Carolina pick sent to the Bears for DJ Moore so, in essence, they aren't technically losing one of their actual draft picks.

Given that Chicago is one of the most improved teams in the NFL and is arguably a double-digit win team right now, adding a player as talented as Judon only pushes their ceiling much higher. At 31 years old, Judon is nearing the end of his big-time contribution days but still has several good years in the tank.

Since entering the league eight seasons ago, Judon has been consistent regarding getting after the QB, as he has racked up 66.5 sacks thus far. 34.5 of those came with the Ravens, while the remaining 32 have come during his time with the Patriots. After failing to top 9.5 sacks with the Ravens, his best seasons came in the 2022 and 2023 years when he racked up 12.5 and 15.5 sacks, respectively.

That ranked him in the top 10 for overall sacks in those two seasons as he played the best ball of his career. Then came 2023, when Judon was looking to build off those performances, only to see his season cut short due to injury. For the year, Judon saw action in just four games but came away with four sacks, as his overall production was still elite on the field.

Should he prove that he is 100% healthy this season, all eyes will be on Judon from week one until the trade deadline, as he could be one of the most, if not the most, sought-after names on the market. With the Bears about to enter their Superbowl window and with their available assets, this seems like the best fit for both sides, as Chicago would get the running mate for Sweat while giving the Patriots their much-needed assets in return.

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