June 14, 2024

Arthur Smith praises former Falcons trade target Montez Sweat

The Atlanta Falcons made a strong push for Montez Sweat at the trade deadline, only to be outbid by the Chicago Bears, who are set to host Arthur Smith’s team this weekend.

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Terry Fontenot offered the Commanders a second-round pick in hopes of immediately inking a contract extension with Sweat, but Ryan Poles’ second-rounder was more enticing to Martin Mayhew and Washington.

Fontenot could’ve certainly packaged another mid-round pick to sweeten the pot, but the Falcons came up empty-handed. Now, they’ll square off against Sweat at Soldier Field on Sunday, and Arthur Smith knows just how great of a player he is.

Since joining the Bears, Sweat has posted 13 QB hits, three tackles for loss, six sacks, one forced fumble, and three passes defended. To say it’s worked out for Chicago would be an understatement.

The Bears ended up handing Sweat a four-year, $98 million contract and locked in one of the premier pass rushers in the league. The Falcons desperately need someone like Sweat who can consistently put up double-digit sacks; it’s the one area of the defense that is still a glaring weakness.

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Ryan Nielsen’s group is a night-and-day improvement from the Dean Pees years. The offseason acquisitions of Jessie Bates III, David Onyemata, Kaden Elliss, Calais Campbell, and Bud Dupree have been instrumental in the turnaround, but there’s still a clear need for a dominant pass rusher.

With the Falcons pursuing Sweat, Fontenot sees a need for that kind of player. I wouldn’t be shocked if the club continued to monitor the free agent and trade markets this offseason.

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