Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles met with reporters on Wednesday afternoon and a large part of the conversation surrounded newly acquired defensive end Montez Sweat.
The Bears traded a 2024 second-round draft pick for Sweat on Tuesday at the NFL Trade Deadline and it was a move that made little sense for a team that is already out of post-season contention.
Where the trade does make sense would be if the Bears sign Sweat to a long-term extension. There is no question that Sweat addresses the Bears’ need for a legitimate pass rusher on their defensive line but he is a free agent at the end of the season.
Poles confirmed with reporters on Wednesday that he is in the middle of contract negotiations with Sweat. Poles talked about wanting to get Sweat in the building ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft and free agency as a way for the team to cross off pass rusher from their list of needs this off-season.
Sweat met with reporters on Wednesday, as well, but did not offer any insight into his long-term desires.
The Chicago Bears fully intend to sign defensive end Montez Sweat to a contract extension before the end of the season.
Regardless of what was said on Wednesday, actions speak louder than words. The more days that pass without Sweat having a contract extension in place, the more questions that will surround the trade that the Bears made on Tuesday.
The benefits to the Bears extending Sweat now will give the team added flexibility in the contract situation with cornerback Jaylon Johnson. Sweat having a long-term deal in place before the off-season would keep open the possibility of the Bears being able to use the franchise tag on Johnson in the event that the two sides can not work out a new deal at the end of the season.
Johnson has ended in-season negotiations with the Bears but did express a desire to remain with the team on a long-term deal while meeting with reporters on Wednesday.