Chicago Bears fans can rest easy as news broke on Saturday morning that the team has agreed to a four-year contract extension with defensive end Montez Sweat.
The Bears acquired Sweat at the NFL Trade Deadline this past Tuesday when they sent a 2024 second-round draft pick to the Washington Commanders. The trade drew some questions regarding the approach of Bears’ general manager Ryan Poles had in making the deal as given the two-win season, on the surface, it was odd for the team to be acquiring a rental player.
The questions intensified after Sweat met with reporters on Wednesday at Halas Hall, there was no indication given that he would be willing to sign a contract extension with the Bears. However, Poles appeared confident in the Bears’ ability to sign Sweat to an extension when talking about the trade with reporters.
The Chicago Bears made newly acquired defensive end Montez Sweat one of the highest-paid pass rushers in the NFL on Saturday.
There was no doubt that the Bears were going to have to pay a hefty price for Sweat considering the leverage that he had and the four-year deal that he signed with the team on Saturday was an indication of that. Sweat is now paid as one of the top pass rushers in all of the NFL.
For the Bears, the team can now be comfortable with the deal that they made with the Commanders on Tuesday. For the next four and a half seasons, the Bears have addressed a major element that had been missing for the past two years–an elite pass rusher.
It will be interesting to see the reaction that Bears’ cornerback Jaylon Johnson has to Sweat’s extension with the team. While speaking with reporters this week, Johnson did indicate that he would be upset if Sweat were to get an extension before him.
One thing the Sweat extension does do for the Bears is give the team added flexibility with Johnson. If the Bears are unable to reach terms on a new contract with Johnson before the start of the new league year in March, the team could now use the franchise or transition tag on the cornerback without the need of having to use one on Sweat.