No Fire Sale Here: Why Bears Bought at the Trade Deadline

Montez Sweat, Bears-Commanders NFL Trade

Headed into Tuesday’s trade deadline, the Chicago Bears were expected to make moves shipping out critical assets to new teams.

Contrary to expectations, however, the Bears were buyers at the deadline.

Buyers, Not Sellers

The Bears made a splash trade, acquiring Washington Commanders edge rusher Montez Sweat in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick.


Chicago added much-needed help to the defensive line with Sweat. A first-round pick in 2019, the 27-year-old has been consistent throughout his career, tallying 35.5 sacks and 47 TFL in 67 career starts. Since 2020, Montez Sweat’s 90.5 run defense grade has been the top mark among all edge defenders.

Sweat is in the midst of a breakout season, totaling 6.5 sacks, 10 TFL, 27 total pressures, and a 76.8 PFF grade through eight weeks.  The defender is headed towards a massive payday, and Washington opted to trade him. Now, Chicago will most likely give him the big money he deserves.


Chicago’s aggressiveness at the deadline was certainly not expected. It was anticipated the Bears would subtract. There were a variety of players they could have traded, including cornerback Jaylon Johnson.

A bombshell was dropped around NFL circles when it was reported that Johnson had been given permission to seek a trade.

The Bears were expected to trade their 24-year-old budding star, who has been seeking a new contract. The team generated serious interest from the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, and Dallas Cowboys, and a trade seemed likely.

However, as the 4 p.m. trade deadline rolled around, no deal was struck. Johnson will remain with the Bears. Hopes of a much-deserved payday with Chicago remain alive, but the cornerback will not resume contract extension talks with the team this season and will hit free agency in 2024.


Other names, such as Darnell Mooney and Eddie Jackson, were floated around as potential departures, but no additional trades were made.

General manager Ryan Poles clearly wants to compete with this roster, and gaining Sweat while keeping the team’s talent could help them do so.

Poles could have a home run trade deadline if his addition of Sweat pans out and he manages to sign Jaylon Johnson long-term.

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