This 2022 season with the Commanders, now at 7-5-1, it seems each week there is praise for Washington’s dynamic duo of defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.
Rightfully so, I might add. However, sometimes when some players are being given much praise, what is often overlooked is the performance of another. In this case, Montez Sweat.
Sweat, a defensive end out of Mississippi State is in his fourth season and is making it a very good season. Sweat in his rookie season was an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. But now in his third season at defensive end in a 4-3, Sweat is maturing into a significant contributor to the Commanders defense.
For example, in 2020, Sweat recorded 12 tackles for a loss (a career-high). Well, Sweat this season already has 12 tackles for a loss. Again in 2020, Sweat produced 20 quarterback hits in his 16 games. In 13 games this season, Sweat has distributed 24 quarterback hits.
As for quarterback sacks, Sweat in 2020 recorded 9.0, and now with four games remaining in 2022, Sweat is at 7.0 sacks.
Sweat has frankly been living in the shadow of Chase Young, Allen and Payne. But this year, he is proving what he can actually do. Which thus far is more than Young has. But of course, Young was injured in year two and has yet to play in year three.
The NFL is a business and decisions like these Sweat or Young, are not going to be easy for Commander’s management to make or the fan base to accept. For now, doesn’t it seem unlikely the Commanders will be able to keep and pay all four of these defensive linemen for the long term?
But for now, isn’t Sweat proving himself worthy of gaining the financial commitment of the Commanders leadership?