The Chicago Bears got things going on NFL trade deadline day, dealing with the Washington Commanders for one of its high-level pass rushers, Montez Sweat.
The Bears reinforce a struggling part of its team, the pass rush, in the deal, but timelines don't make a ton of sense at first glance. The Commanders, a good-not-great team, moved off a key player that was going to enter unrestricted free agency this offseason. The Bears, a bad team, add a player in the final year of his contract while giving up a draft pick.
Since the Bears won't be competing for a playoff spot this year, isn't this unwise? Most felt that Sweat (or Chase Young, who is also rumored to be available) would go from the Commanders to a team looking for a few final pieces for its playoff push.
Well, turns out, the Bears were thinking with longevity here.
Bears look poised to offer Montez Sweat a quick contract extension
The Bears, if they were to trade for Sweat and let him enter free agency, would be strange. But there's a caveat: The team looks likely to at least give a college try at signing Sweat to a contract extension before the season is over, keeping him from hitting the open market. That was the team's plan if they were able to acquire Chase Young according to Mike Florio, and it would make sense for the plan to be the same for Sweat.
That makes the move -- in which the Bears gave a second-round pick -- much more palatable if they're able to get the extension done. It would essentially mean the Bears got a first-round player (Sweat was originally drafted 26th overall in 2019 and ranks 25th in approximate value among 2019 draftees per Pro Football Reference) for a second-round pick.
One would think that perhaps Chicago already has some insight as to the appetite on Sweat's side to sign an extension, but even so, until ink is to paper, Sweat is still going to be a possible flight risk at the end of the year.
Ultimately, we can grade the trade for now under the assumption the Bears will get a deal done, but the final grade years out will depend on the trade plus the contract extension, or lack thereof.