Could Bears reunite Montez Sweat with former teammate?
Jerome Miron - USA Today Sports

Could Bears reunite Montez Sweat with former teammate?

by - Senior Writer -

Now that the Mini-Camp portion of the offseason is winding down and with training camp right around the corner, this is the part of the NFL offseason known as the Summer Break. In other words, unless there are major signings or news to report, things begin to wind down when it comes to news around the NFL.

That alone won't stop the rumor mill from swirling, as reporters will do whatever digging they can to find something to report on. This could be one of those cases, although the more you look into it, the more it makes sense as a possible option for this team. Although the Bears pass rush should be better this season with Montez Sweat playing an entire year, they still need depth at that position to keep some of the pressure off him.

Where they find that depth is another question, as the free agent pool is becoming scarce regarding pass-rushing options. Knowing this has been the team's most significant need for nearly two years, trade proposals are being thrown out there across the board, with the most recent one reuniting Sweat with one of his former teammates from Washington.

Sure, the growth of Gervon Dexter Jr. and Zacch Pickens is crucial this season, but the Bears know they will need at least one more player who can come in and contribute from day one. Jonathan Allen could be that guy, as his future beyond this season remains one of the more significant question marks for the Washington Commanders.

A two-time pro bowler, the 29-year-old Allen has been a fixture on the Washington defense for several seasons, but with a new ownership group, some are wondering what the future plans are for him. With the Commanders inking Daron Payne to a 90 million dollar extension last offseason, Allen could be the odd man out as he only has two years left on his current deal.

Throw in the fact that he is considered to be making lower-end DT money for a highly-rated DT, and Allen could be trying to renegotiate a new contract, thus throwing another wrench into his future plans with Washington. Set to enter his eighth year after being drafted out of the University of Alabama, the 6-3 300-pound Allen has quietly been one of the more consistent and productive interior linemen since coming into the league.

Across 101 career games, Allen has registered 382 tackles, 57 tackles for a loss, and 39 sacks. That includes his career-high of nine sacks in 2021, followed by 13 combined sacks the last two seasons, with 5.5 coming this past season. If Allen is indeed looking to get a new deal done, a fresh start would give him that opportunity, which is why the Bears are being listed as an option.

One idea was for the Bears to give up one pick in each of the 2025 and 2026 NFL drafts, and if that is all it would take, Chicago would be foolish not to try. However, knowing his production, it may take at least three picks to get a deal done, but none of those would be considered high-value picks, so you have that.

According to Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report, "Allen might be better off in a situation where he’s still a featured player,” Ballentine wrote on May 24. “That would surely be the case in Chicago, where he would reunite with former Commanders teammate Montez Sweat and net a similar trade return to what the New York Giants got for Leonard Williams.”

While adding Allen would be a strong move for Poles, it would be costly, as the Bears would be forced to pay him the remaining 33 million dollars he is owed on his current deal. Financially speaking, he is due about $15.4 million in 2024 and $16.5 million in 2025 on his current deal, which is far less than Christian Wilkins got from the Las Vegas Raiders ($27.5 million annually) in free agency.

The Bears are projected to have roughly $12.39 million in cap space after signing all of their 2024 draft picks, but cuts and restructures could clear more space. This team is close to being where it wants to be. Now, it just becomes a matter of adding a few more pieces, moving some money around, and living up to the hype that his offseason is building.

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