Bears DE Montez Sweat Reveals Other NFC Squad Who ‘Wanted’ to Trade for Him

Montez Sweat

Getty New Bears DE Montez Sweat.

New Chicago Bears defensive and Montez Sweat says the Atlanta Falcons were interested in adding him prior to the NFL trade deadline.

The Bears sent a 2024 second-round pick to the Washington Commanders in exchange for Sweat on October 31, and that was enough to bring the 27-year-old pass rusher to Chicago.

When speaking with the media for the first time since landing in the Windy City, Sweat, who grew up in Georgia and played his high school ball there, says the Falcons were also very interested in his services.

“I mean, I knew my agent told me that they were in the talks,” Sweat said on November 1. “I’m actually from Georgia. I mean, it was a place of interest but it’s the NFL. Obviously they wanted me. Here they wanted me more so this is where I am.”

New Bears DE Montez Sweat: ‘I’m a Tenacious Player’


“Pass rush is a prominent position in the league,” Sweat noted “I’m sure a lot of teams want a pass rusher. It doesn’t necessarily boost my ego. They might not have necessarily been looking for me, they might have just been looking for a good edge rusher and I may have stepped into that place. But yeah, I’m just humble and ready to go.”

Since entering the league as a first-round draft pick for Washington out of Mississippi State in 2019 (No. 26 overall), Sweat has started 67 games. An excellent run defender, he has earned a run defense grade of 79.6 or higher every year since 2020. Over his career, he has also feasted on opposing quarterbacks. He has amassed 38.0 sacks, 48 QB hurries, and 109 hurries (stats via Pro Football Focus).

When asked specifically what the Bears will be getting in him, his answer was as straightforward as his play has been.

“I think I’m a very strong, hard-working, tenacious player, who just really wants to get better every day,” the new Bears DE said. “I know I still got a long way to go, but I’m happy to be the player I am.”

What Is Montez Sweat’s Projected Market Value?

Sweat is in the final year of his four-year deal with the Commanders, and he carries a cap hit of just under $6.4 million this year, according to Spotrac. The Bears paid a hefty price to bring him over from Washington, so the likelihood is that general manager Ryan Poles plans to sign him to an extension. So, what kind of money are we talking about?

Spotrac has him projected to sign a four-year, $101 million contract next ($25.3 annual salary). If he inks that type of deal, it would put him among the highest-paid edge rusher in the NFL.

Nick Bosa of the San Francisco 49ers is the league’s highest paid edge rusher ($34 million annually). Don’t expect Sweat to make Bosa-type money, but somewhere around $23-25 million per year sounds about right. By adding him before extending him, Poles gave Sweat all the leverage. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

For his part, Sweat says he is stoked to be in the Windy City.

“It definitely feels like a new beginning,” Sweat said. “It’s a fresh start for me meeting new people, new coaches, creating new relationships.”

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