When the Chicago Bears traded for pass rusher Montez Sweat ahead of the 2023 NFL Trade deadline, the move was somewhat of a head-scratcher. After all, Sweat was in the final year of his contract, and absent a new deal between him and the Chicago Bears, there was potential for this to simply be a short-term rental. Then the Bears would be out the draft pick they used to acquire him from the Washington Commanders, and be forced to address their pass rush via another means.
That’s what lead us to give the trade a conditional grade: A B+ if the team inked Sweat to a new deal, but an F if they failed to get that done:
If Chicago has framework in place to ink Sweat to a long-term deal then a second rounder for a 27-year-old productive pass rusher really isn’t bad. However, based on where the Bears will be picking this is likely to be a very high second round pick and it raises questions about the draft strategy of this organization. Do they simply not have faith in being able to find good players? Didn’t we just go through this with Chase Claypool? Sweat is certainly better than Claypool, but this has similar vibes.
Well, the Bears have gotten that deal done.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Chicago has inked Sweat to a massive new four-year deal worth up to $98 million in new money. In addition, over $72 million of that is guaranteed:
This move may signal how Chicago views the incoming class of pass rushers. According to NFL Mock Draft Database there is a bit of a dropoff between the expected first-round EDGE players, and those in the second round. As a result, the Bears might believe Sweat would be a better option than the pass rushers they could have selected with the second-round pick they used to trade for him.
Looks like some final grades need to be adjusted.