Thursday, July 11, 2024

NFL People Voted On If Montez Sweat Is Among Best Pass Rushers


The Chicago Bears pulled a stunner last October when they traded a 2nd round pick to Washington for Montez Sweat. It was a move rebuilding teams almost never do. This organization wasn’t in a win-now position yet. Trading for a star pass rusher and then paying him big money is what teams ready to chase a Super Bowl usually do. GM Ryan Poles didn’t care. He made a promise to himself that he would always look for ways to help his team. His decision ended up yielding immediate results.

Sweat delivered six sacks over the second half of the season and the Bears defense transformed into one of the NFL’s best over that span. It became dubbed as “The Tez Effect.” When one player can impact your fortunes so much, you’d think he would get more respect nationally. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN polled various NFL people, from execs to coaches and scouts, to determine the top 10 pass rushers in the league. Sweat failed to crack it, having to settle for a place among the honorable mentions.

Montez Sweat, Chicago Bears: Although Sweat didn’t join the Bears’ squad until late October, he still finished the season leading Chicago in sacks (six) and had four tackles for loss and three passes defensed. “His length and ability to cover ground creates problems for tackles. He lifted the Bears defense last year.”

Montez Sweat has been fighting for respect for years.

Part of the problem is he was trapped on a team that was stacked with defensive line talent. Washington had two other studs, Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne, who got tons of notoriety for their accomplishments. Then it got worse when the team selected Chase Young #2 overall in 2020. Many saw the Ohio State phenom as a future star, which made it easy to keep cameras on him. All the while, Sweat kept chugging along, making plays. Not until he moved to Chicago did people see how far his impact really went.

Ironically, it was playing on a less talented front that made people realize how good he is. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to crack the top 10. However, Montez Sweat has a chance to change that. If he can deliver another standout season in 2024, the league will finally realize he belongs in the same conversation as the league’s best. Here is hoping he won’t have to do it alone. Gervon Dexter and DeMarcus Walker must do what they can to help. If anything, that trade to acquire him looks smarter by the day.

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Jul 11, 2024 9:53 am

Just goes to show how much character matters when getting players for a team. Montez came to a losing team yet still played his butt off. Some guys would come in at that point in the season and just go thru the motions figuring the season was over anyway. Not Sweat. He went balls to the wall. Smarts and character matter.

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