Bears trade second-round pick to Commanders for Montez Sweat

The Commanders and Bears agreed to a trade Tuesday that sends defensive end Montez Sweat to Chicago for a 2024 second-round pick.

The trade is pending Sweat passing a physical.

"Montez is a huge addition to our team," Bears general manager Ryan Poles said, according to the team's website. "He is not only a great player but a great person. We expect him to help elevate our defense."

Sweat, 27, is in the last year of his contract, and the Commanders are opting for a draft pick now rather than the compensatory selection they might receive if Sweat signed elsewhere as a free agent next year.

The Commanders (3-5) also traded defensive end Chase Young to the San Francisco 49ers for a third-round pick, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Acquiring Sweat injects talent into Chicago's league-worst pass rush at the halfway point of the season. The Bears (2-6) replaced three of their four starters along the defensive line ahead of the 2023 season in free agency and spent second- and third-round draft picks on defensive tackles Gervon Dexter Sr. and Zacch Pickens. The Bears have an NFL-low 10 sacks this season and 46 pressures, which ranks 30th.

Through eight games, Sweat has 6.5 sacks, bringing his career total to 35.5 in five seasons.

Chicago's 2024 second-round selection is currently No. 35 in the draft. At the trade deadline in 2022, the Bears sent their own second-round pick to Pittsburgh for wide receiver Chase Claypool, who played in 10 games in Chicago. The Bears dealt Claypool to the Miami Dolphins after beating Washington in Week 5.

For the Commanders, the move is a nod to their losing record and the difficulty of keeping their defensive line intact. Sweat and Young are free agents after this season. Washington already has given out big contracts to defensive tackles Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen in the past two seasons.

In the offseason Washington had expressed a desire to extend Sweat, but with the ownership situation in flux -- Josh Harris did not take over until late July -- talks never developed. The Commanders also had told Young they would reward him if he had a productive season.

The high-priced line did not result in productive play by the defense. Washington is tied for sixth in the league with 25 sacks, but 23rd in pass rush win rate. Among defensive linemen, Young ranks fifth in this area -- but none of his linemates is in the top 55.

Washington drafted Sweat with the 26th selection of the 2019 NFL draft, a pick obtained when the team traded back into the first round.

Sweat was an immediate full-time starter and has been productive, though he has yet to finish with more than nine sacks in a season. He is one of seven players with at least five sacks in each of the past five seasons, along with Chris Jones, Myles Garrett, T.J. Watt, Khalil Mack, Maxx Crosby and Brian Burns, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

He is also considered a strong run defender and has been durable. Sweat missed seven games in 2021 when he suffered a broken jaw, sat out one week because of COVID and two others after his brother was shot and killed. But in his other four seasons Sweat hasn't missed a game.