The Chicago Bears have secured their key acquisition of the trade deadline by finalizing a significant deal with defensive end Montez Sweat. According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, Sweat and the Bears have inked a four-year contract extension, which includes an impressive $98 million in new money, with a remarkable $72.9 million guaranteed. The grand total of the contract stands at $105 million, as reported by Rapoport.
The official announcement of this agreement was later made by the team. Sweat’s new annual salary now stands at $24.5 million, catapulting him to the fifth spot among edge rushers, surpassing even the recently signed Rashan Gary, according to Over the Cap.
It might have been surprising that the 2-6 Bears, who unexpectedly became buyers at the trade deadline, acquired Sweat from the Washington Commanders in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick. However, the decision to extend the contract of the fifth-year pro in the Windy City was a widely expected move. Bears’ general manager Ryan Poles had expressed his desire for a swift resolution, and that’s exactly what happened. Sweat is now committed to the Bears through 2027.
This 27-year-old standout becomes a cornerstone of Chicago’s future plans following five strong seasons with Washington. As a first-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, Sweat boasts an impressive track record, amassing 35.5 sacks, forcing nine fumbles, making 47 tackles for loss, and delivering 85 quarterback hits across 67 starts for the Commanders. Despite his impressive performance, Washington decided to part ways with both Sweat and his teammate Chase Young in their contract years.
While Young joined San Francisco to strengthen their formidable defensive front alongside Nick Bosa, Sweat immediately takes the role of Chicago’s premier pass rusher. The Bears have struggled in the sack department, managing just 10 sacks in their first eight games of 2023, which is five fewer than any other team in the league. Currently, T.J. Edwards and Yannick Ngakoue lead the defense with two sacks each. However, Sweat is on a remarkable pace with 6.5 sacks, poised to surpass his previous career high of nine.
The Bears had high hopes for an immediate impact from Sweat on the upcoming game against the Saints, and with this substantial extension in place, they anticipate benefiting from his exceptional skills for many years to come.