Reaction to the Bears’ acquisition of DL Montez Sweat was mixed

The biggest question surrounding the Chicago Bears before Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline appeared to be where the franchise would send cornerback Jaylon Johnson, who recently signed Permission to seek a change of scenery.

But the Bears emerged as more of a buyer than a seller at the deadline.

Chicago stuck with Johnson and made a splash on Halloween by acquiring defensive lineman Montez Sweat from the Washington Commanders. until a physical examinationin exchange for a 2024 second-round pick. Sweat, who is in the final year of his contract, did it 35.5 bags — including 6.5 this season — and 47 tackles for loss in his five-year NFL career.

“Montez is a great addition to our team,” Bears general manager Ryan Poles said in a press release announcing the move. “He is not only a great player but also a great person. We expect him to help strengthen our defense.”

DL Montez Sweat
Montez Sweat, number 90 of the Washington Commanders, runs around the rim during an NFL football game between Washington and the Chicago Bears on October 5, 2023 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland. Sweat was traded to the Bears before the 2023 NFL trade deadline.
Michael Owens/Getty Images/Getty Images

The 27-year-old will undoubtedly bolster a Bears defensive unit that ranks last in the league in sacks and 30th in pressures this season. But at what cost? A 2-6 team trading a valuable draft asset for an impending free agent isn’t popular in all circles.

Here you can see some reactions to the deal.

Instantly sweat Chicago’s best edge rusher

The Commanders’ trade of Sweat to the Bears was the first domino to fall before the 4 p.m. ET trade deadline on Tuesday. But it wouldn’t be the last time to feature a standout member of the franchise’s defensive front.

Washington has already done it more than $150 million committed to defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne for the next four years. As a result, the Commanders opted to immediately trade Sweat and Chase Young – who went to the San Francisco 49ers – for draft consideration rather than worry about either player long-term.

And the Bears must have seen an opportunity they couldn’t pass up.

Sweat would rank first or tied for first among Bears edge defenders this season in sacks (6.5), total pressures (27), QB hits (four) and pass rush win rate (10.6 percent). come first. according to Pro Football Focus.

“I’m excited,” Bears tight end Cole Kmet told CHGO Sports about the Sweat trade. “Obviously we competed against them a few weeks ago. They have a really good defensive front here to see an addition before the trade deadline.”

Chicago trading a second-rounder for a soon-to-be free agent suggests the franchise is confident it can sign Sweat to a new contract. The Bears are expected to have the most cap space in the NFL this offseason at over $110 million. per ESPNand apparently wanted to get a head start on signing Sweat before free agency.

NFL draft expert Matt Miller supported Chicago’s decision to acquire a proven pass rusher now rather than take a risk with the upcoming class.

“The 2024 draft class is good at edge, but not great,” Miller said on X, formerly Twitter. “And the chance of finding a player of Montez Sweat’s caliber in round two is initially slim. The Bears had money to spend and the team’s biggest need on paper was edge rusher. I really like this deal.”

It is risky for Bears to part with draft pick

Bears fans can take solace in the fact that this year’s trade deadline acquisition can’t be much worse than the acquisition Chicago made last year.

Chicago sent a second-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers last season for wide receiver Chase Claypool. And Claypool’s tenure with the Bears is already over. The 6-foot-4 receiver caught just 18 passes in 10 career games for Chicago before being traded to the Miami Dolphins in a 2025 pick swap. The pick Chicago sent to Pittsburgh ended up being the 32nd overall pick in the draft. The second-rounder the Bears traded to Washington is currently ranked 35th.

But the memory of an unfortunate trade isn’t the only negative reaction surrounding Chicago’s decision to acquire Sweat.

ESPN’s Seth Walder several reasons listed on X why he thinks this was a bad move by the Bears. Walder criticized Chicago for the trade even though it could have signed Sweat or another top pass rusher in free agency without having to part with a second-rounder or draft a cheaper option instead.

“Legitimately terrible trade by the Bears,” Walder posted.

Adam Rank of NFL Media And FS1’s Nick WrighBoth questioned whether Chicago would part with a second-round pick as part of the deal. Wright pointed out that the 49ers only sent a third-rounder for Young, although the former No. 2 overall pick’s injury history may have played a role.

In their trading closing classes, CBS Sports gave the Commanders an A- for the sweat deal, while the Bears received a C-. The Sports News gave Washington an A+ and Chicago a C-, while USA today rated the Commanders an A- and the Bears a B-.