Update 10/31/2023: Commanders trade away their 2 best pass rushers days before Patriots game
After parting ways with Montez Sweat earlier on Tuesday, the Washington Commanders have made another move ahead of the NFL trade deadline. Fellow edge defender Chase Young is being sent to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2024 third-round selection, as first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Young struggled with injuries throughout his career in Washington. Nonetheless, he still was able to flash his immense talent whenever on the field.
This year, the 24-year-old picked up five sacks in seven games — second behind only Sweat — and ranked first on the team with 38 total quarterback pressures.
With him out of the equation as well, the Washington pass rush is looking drastically different and far less scary now. Young and Sweat, after all, accounted for 11.5 of the team’s 25 sacks this season (46%), as well as 65 of 151 quarterback pressures (43%).
Original story 10/31/2023: Commanders trade away top pass rusher days before Patriots game
With only hours to go until the NFL trade deadline, the New England Patriots’ upcoming opponent has made a move. The Washington Commanders have traded edge defender Montez Sweat to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a 2024 second-round draft pick, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Sweat, 27, arrived in Washington as the 26th overall selection in the 2019 draft. Over the next few years, he developed into a steady presence along the team’s defensive line: appearing in a combined 68 regular season and playoff games, he registered 36.5 sacks, nine forced fumbles, and one interception.
His performance prompted the Commanders to exercise the fifth-year option in his rookie deal, meaning he would remain under contract through 2023. Sweat rewarded the team’s trust by continuing to play solid football — including through eight games this season.
The 6-foot-6, 262-pound defender is Washington’s leading sack artist this year, taking opposing quarterbacks down on 6.5 occasions. His 27 total quarterback pressures rank third on the team, according to Pro Football Focus. He also has force a pair of fumbles.
Together with Chase Young on the opposite end of the defensive line, containing Sweat would have been a challenge for the Patriots. While their tackle situation improved quite a bit with Trent Brown and Michael Onwenu now serving as the bookends, the Young/Sweat pairing would still have been a challenge for the group as a whole — a challenge that now looks more manageable from a New England perspective.
The Patriots will host the Commanders for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff on Sunday.