Report: Bears didn’t lay groundwork for extension before trading for Montez Sweat

The Chicago Bears made a splash ahead of the NFL trade deadline when they acquired defensive end Montez Sweat from the Washington Commanders in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick.

It addresses a huge hole with the pass rush, which has totaled a league-worst 10 sacks this season. Sweat already has 6.5 sacks this season, which is equal to the amount by Chicago’s defensive line.

But there’s been criticism about the move for a 2-6 Bears squad that isn’t trending in the right direction. That stems from the fact that Chicago shelled out a premium draft pick for a player in the final year of his contract.

While the expectation is the Bears would have laid the groundwork for an extension before making the trade, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler indicated that Chicago didn’t exactly lay the groundwork for an extension before acquiring Sweat.

Sweat gives Chicago a marquee player at one of the game’s most important positions for years to come, assuming it extends him — though that’s another story.

…However, Chicago not laying the groundwork for an extension now seems shortsighted, though it can use the franchise tag next season. And I also keep going back to this: The presence of Sweat isn’t going to monumentally shift this season for Chicago, a team that desperately needs draft capital to rebuild. That’s why I at least understand why some league folks have a problem with the deal.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano believes the Bears “will at least make an effort” to sign Sweat to a long-term deal before the end of the season. Which should be common sense and something they previously planned for before sending a premium draft pick for a nine-game rental.

While it’s true Chicago could use the franchise tag as a means to buy time during the offseason, the fact that general manager Ryan Poles used a second-round pick on a player with an expiring contract should mean the intent is to hammer out a long-term deal as soon as possible.

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire