Former Washington Commanders first-round pick and star edge rusher Montez Sweat could end up being the odd-man out in Virginia.
Washington just invested a four-year, $90 million contract on Daron Payne. Fellow defensive tackle Jonathan Allen is playing under a four-year, $72 million contract of his own.
Meanwhile, Washington has a decision to make on Chase Young’s fifth-year option. That would come in at $17.4 million in 2024. With his own fifth-year option set at $11.5 million for next season, Sweat’s future in Washington could be in the air.
Simply put the Commanders just can’t afford to pay all four defensive linemen long-term. It will need to move off one of them. Having already invested the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on Young, it doesn’t make sense for Washington move off him. Instead, the Commanders might look to trade Sweat for nice haul of draft picks.
NFL insider Albert Breer from Sports Illustrated recently mentioned this as a possibility. If so, there’s going to be a ton of interest in a productive 26-year-old pass rusher in Montez Sweat. Below, we look at four ideal trade scenarios.
Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NFL trade rumors
Kansas City Chiefs go all in for star edge rusher
- Chiefs get: Montez Sweat
- Commanders get: 31st pick in 2023 NFL Draft, 3rd-round pick in 2024
The defending champion Chiefs are set to rely on 2022 first-round pick George Karlaftis and free agent signing Charles Omenihu as their top edge pass rushers after releasing Frank Clark. While this could work out, getting a Pro Bowl caliber edge guy to team up with Chris Jones makes a ton of sense.
- Montez Sweat stats (2019-22): 74 QB hits, 37 tackles for loss, 29 sacks, 7 forced fumbles
We know very well that Chiefs general manager Brett Veach has not been afraid to pull off blockbuster trades in the past. Adding a 26-year-old for the long term would be another example of team building in Kansas City.
The only thing potentially holding these Chiefs back is the need to hand the aforementioned Jones a massive contract extension at some point. Can they afford both Jones and Sweat at $20-plus million annually?
Arizona Cardinals start rebuild with blockbuster trade
- Cardinals get: Montez Sweat
- Commanders get: 34th and 105th picks in 2023 NFL Draft, 2nd-round pick in 2024
New Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort might not want to admit it, but this team is in complete rebuild mode. It’s one of the reasons that trading down from the third pick in the 2023 NFL Draft makes sense. That is to say, collecting more assets for the rebuild.
Now, why would Arizona use some assets to trade for a player in Sweat who is going to be playing under a huge long-term contract? Well, it almost makes too much sense.
The Cardinals recorded all of 36 sacks in 2022. Isaiah Simmons is their leading returning sack getter with four a season ago. We know very well how much Gannon’s defense relies on a pass rush dating back to his days as the Eagles’ coordinator. Teaming him up with Sweat could change the dynamics big time in the desert.
Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NFL trade tracker with grades
Chicago Bears use excess of picks to nab star player
- Bears get: Montez Sweat
- Commanders get: 61st pick in 2023 NFL Draft, 1st-round pick in 2024
In trading down from the first pick to ninth overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, Chicago acquired Pro Bowl wide receiver D.J. Moore, two future second-round selections and a 2024 first-round pick. It was absolutely a bounty for general manager Ryan Poles.
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Why not use some of these newfound assets to acquire a top-line pass rusher who fits into Chicago’s long-term vision? The Bears recorded a league-low 20 sacks last season with safety Jaquan Brisker (four) heading the group. Simply put, this team needs multiple edge guys even after signing DeMarcus Walker during NFL free agency.
Houston Texans make franchise altering trade
- Texans get: Montez Sweat
- Commanders get: 33rd and 73rd picks in 2023 NFL Draft
Houston needs to give new head coach DeMeco Ryans a new toy to play with. Perhaps, landing him the Texans’ version of Nick Bosa would go a long way in helping this long downtrodden team become relevant.
The better news for Houston? It has an additional first-and-second round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft stemming from the Deshaun Watson trade with the Cleveland Browns last spring. Why not use one second rounder and a third rounder to acquire a potential franchise building block? It almost makes too much sense.
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