The San Francisco 49ers’ interest in defensive end Chase Young was not spurred by the trade deadline. General Manager John Lynch and Washington Commander GM Martin Mayhew had engaged in discussions about Young a couple of weeks before that. With Washington suffering consecutive losses, their season was on a downward trajectory, prompting them to consider trade offers for their talented defensive front.
While the 49ers had their sights set on acquiring Chase Young, Lynch revealed that Mayhew also floated the idea of including defensive end Montez Sweat in the trade discussions. However, San Francisco ultimately decided not to pursue Sweat.
“In our early conversations,” Lynch explained during a conference call, “our sole focus was on Chase. At a certain point, Martin mentioned, ‘For the right deal, Sweat might also be available.’ That’s when our considerations broadened.”
San Francisco’s choice not to pursue Sweat becomes clear when considering the dynamics of the trade market. Lynch emphasized their overarching goal of strengthening the team’s roster without compromising their future draft capital. They ultimately secured Chase Young for a compensatory third-round draft pick, leaving them with two third-round selections. In contrast, Montez Sweat was traded to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a second-round pick. Opting for Sweat would have required San Francisco to part with their own second-round pick, leaving them with no selections between the first and third rounds of the draft.
It’s worth noting that Sweat is a talented player who could have made a substantial contribution to the 49ers. He has demonstrated better durability and consistency in his career compared to Young. However, San Francisco chose to invest in the more cost-effective option with significant upside.