There has been a reassurance in Chicago and his name is Montez Sweat. While the Bears are still just 5-9, the team doesn’t seem as much in influx as it was during the first few weeks of the 2023 NFL season, and it all seems to sway in a positive direction at the NFL Trade Deadline when the Bears acquired the defensive end.
While the trade sending Sweat to one non-playoff team to another didn’t make much sense for either team at the time, it is turning out to be a trade that has changed the energy in Chicago, which has much to do with the impact Sweat has had on and off the field.
Montez Sweat making his presence felt in leading the Chicago Bears defense
With 12.5 total sacks on the season, 6.0 of which coming in just six games with the Bears, the high-energy defensive end has been a catalyst for the Bears’ defense and a team that is suddenly winning games and looking like they may have some momentum riding into the offseason.
As Sweat has spread his influence in the community with a visit to Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood where he provided gives to kids attending a Christmas event, his influence is radiating through the team. Tremaine Edmunds has certainly been impressed. The middle linebacker spoke highly of his teammate which shows Sweat has found his fit in Chicago.
“The tape speaks for itself, not just on the field though,” Edmunds said, via the team’s official website. “His leadership is good. His presence is felt in the building, in the meeting rooms. Guys gravitate towards him. Guys gravitate towards his leadership. And just having his energy around, his energy is contagious. You can feel that, not just on the field but off the field as well.”
That leadership has also trickled to the offensive side of the football where Justin Fields is giving the Bears something to really think about this offseason.
Chicago Bears rumors: To ride or not to ride with Justin Fields
The Chicago Bears have things brewing on the defensive side of the football led by Sweat, but there are some big questions looming this offseason for the Da Bears highlighted by what the team should do with Justin Fields.
Currently sitting with potentially two top 5 picks, the Bears can decide to roll with Fields and surround him with top talent via the draft in potentially drafting Marvin Harrison Jr. and one of the top tackles on the big draft board or they can decide to trade Fields and select either Caleb Williams or Drake Maye with one of those top picks. There is also the possibility of trading the picks for players or more draft capitol. As it stands, this is an offseason the Bears can’t screw up or could they?
As far as the Fields dilemma, the third-year quarterback has shown flashes that he can be the guy in Chicago, but there has been inconsistency on the field. As a real X-factor in how the 2024 Draft will shape up, Fields’ only focus is proving to the Bears who he is the remainder of the season. Whatever happens next, he has no control over.
While the front office will make the decision, Fields is happy that teammates like wide receiver D.J. Moore has expressed belief in what the team has in the Ohio State product.
“It means a lot,” Fields said, as transcribed by PFT. “[The guys] know the work I put in for this every day. I try to lead the team the best way possible. I’m just glad I’m making a positive impact and that my teammates feel that way about me.”
Prior to last week’s close loss to the Cleveland Browns, the Bears did string together some victories. If they finish strong and Fields continues to lead, the decision might be an easy one. Keep Fields and put more dynamic playmakers around him.