While the move checks a massive box for the Bears, ESPN's Seth Walder called "devoting major draft capital to improving a bad, noncontending team" an "egregious decision" by Poles.
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"Sweat's value this season is worthless to Chicago, and yet the Bears paid handsomely for it anyway," Walder said.
Walder pointed out that the second-round pick the Bears gave up will likely be an early-rounder, with ESPN's Football Power Index currently projecting the Bears to have a 47% chance at drafting in the top five in the first round, and an 82% chance of picking in the top 10.
Adding an elite edge rusher to bolster the NFL's worst pass rush was a much-needed play by the Bears, but Walder implies that Sweat's effectiveness wasn't worth giving up resources that could improve their chances of building for the future.
"While he's having a strong sack season, Sweat has never produced double-digit sacks," he said. "And while the sacks are there for Sweat this season, his pass rush win rate — which evaluates him on far more plays than just the handful that result in QB takedowns — is way down. He has just an 8% pass rush win rate at edge this season, which ranks 52nd. He has had higher win rates than that in the past —it was 14% in 2022 — but he has never exceeded 18% (in 2020), which is only a shade above average for an edge rusher. Sweat is also already 27 years old, meaning there's a good chance he's at his peak and not still ascending toward it."
Overall, ESPN graded the trade a D-.