There was a lot of risk when the Chicago Bears traded for edge-rusher Montez Sweat.
He was set to be a free agent after the season, his production may have benefitted from player next to stud defensive tackles, and it cost the Bears their second-round pick.
Fast forward to the present and general manager Ryan Poles deserves credit for acquiring Sweat.
Sweat has been what NFL experts call a multiplier since he joined the team.
The fear is if Poles could not extend Sweat, he would have to use the franchise tag on him in the offseason and leave the potential for cornerback Jaylon Johnson to walk in free agency.
Poles got the extension done and Sweat has been earning every penny.
He has been disruptive for a pass rush that desperately needed it. His technique is outstanding.
Yes, it will cost the Bears watching talent come off the draft board after Poles makes the second of his two first-round picks. Poles has been good at mitigating his risks, so it would not be shocking to see him trade down from one of those two first-rounders to pick up another Day 2 pick.
Poles could also get another second or third-round pick by trading quarterback Justin Fields in the offseason if he decides to move on from Fields.
Poles was panned for surrendering a second-round pick when the San Francisco 49ers gave up a third to the Washington Commanders for Sweat’s teammate, Chase Young.
Well, Poles had good reasons to go with Sweat.
The Chicago Bears have plenty of salary cap space where they can go into the free-agent market this offseason and reunite Young with Sweat.
Free agency is where Poles will have to go to upgrade the pass rush as this year’s draft class does not have an absolute stud. It is a good class, but not a great class and that is why Poles made the deal.
Sweat is making everyone around him better. Gervon Dexter Sr. and Justin Jones have played much better at the three-technique. Even Yannick Ngakoue has started to get more pressure. However, he still gives up way too easily when he gets blocked.
We will not know who won, lost, or made out equal on the trade until the Commanders make their pick in the draft. For now, the Chicago Bears look like they are the winners.