The Chicago Bears are getting much-needed help for their pass rush.
The Washington Commanders traded defensive end Montez Sweat to Chicago for a 2024 second-round pick, the Bears announced Tuesday.
Sweat is in the last year of his contract. The 27-year-old has racked up 32 tackles (10 for loss), 6.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles through eight games this season.
A first-round pick in 2019, Sweat has averaged 50 tackles, 22 QB hits, and nine sacks per 17 games played since entering the NFL. He’s racked up 35.5 sacks in 67 career appearances.
“Montez is a huge addition to our team,” Bears general manager Ryan Poles said, according to team reporter Larry Mayer. “He is not only a great player but a great person. We expect him to help elevate our defense.”
The Mississippi State product had one of his best games this season against Chicago in Week 5, amassing six tackles, two QB hits, 1.5 sacks, and a pass breakup. The Atlanta Falcons were also interested in Sweat and reportedly offered a third-round pick for him last week.
Bolstering the pass rush has been one of Chicago’s biggest priorities, as the team has recorded a league-low 10 sacks in 2023 after also ranking dead last in that category last year.
The Bears addressed their defense during the offseason but didn’t add any high-profile edge rushers, with Yannick Ngakoue and DeMarcus Walker being the club’s main additions at the position. Ngakoue, who joined in August, and linebacker T.J. Edwards lead Chicago with two sacks apiece this year.
Sweat seemingly wasn’t part of the Commanders’ long-term plans, as they have already rewarded linemen Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne with lucrative extensions.
Meanwhile, Washington also reportedly traded defensive end Chase Young to the San Francisco 49ers for a third-round pick. The former No. 2 pick – who’s in the last year of his rookie deal after having his fifth-year option declined – has produced five sacks this season.
The Bears and Commanders are 2-6 and 3-5 this season, respectively.
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