The Chicago Bears just handed the sack to passer Montez Sweat.
NFL Insider Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report was the first to share the news on X before Twitter. It’s a four-year deal with $98 million in “new money,” an average of $24.5 million per year, and he’ll receive over $72 million in guaranteed money.
The total value of the deal can reach $105 million, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
The New York Jets have their own pass rusher in need new contract. Bryce Huff is currently playing as a restricted free agent on a one-year tender and is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in 2024.
Sweat’s new deal complicates the situation for the Jets and Huff
Before the NFL trade deadline, the Bears sent a 2024 second-round draft choice to the Washington Commanders in exchange for Sweat.
The talented pass rusher should be a free agent this coming offseason. After being dealt to the Bears, he found himself in a position of power and took full advantage of it.
However, when you look at how much he earned compared to his previous production, something seems to be missing.
This new salary of $24.5 million per year makes Sweat the fifth highest-paid EDGE in the NFL Over the cap.
Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times previously called the extension an “overpayment” on Twitter.
In Sweat’s five seasons in the NFL, he never had more than nine sacks in a single year. It has a solid base with approx at least five bags every season, but that doesn’t usually justify a record-breaking contract extension.
Huff’s resume makes contract negotiations difficult
Huff is another player who hasn’t performed particularly well in terms of sacks in his career, but he’s performing exceptionally well as a result the analytics.
The former Memphis product has just 11 sacks in his first three and a half seasons. Even though he is in the middle of his 2023 career year. He has that already agreed His previous career high in sacks was 3.5 and he has 10 more games remaining in the season.
If Sweat were to receive a contract of that size, why wouldn’t Huff and his representatives push for something similar in the offseason?
Jets general manager Joe Douglas met with the media following the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday, October 31st. He revealed that the Jets and Huff have had “informal discussions” about a long-term extension.
JD said these conversations are “trending in the right direction.” However, if this talk doesn’t result in a deal before the new league year of 2024, the Jets will be forced to make a difficult decision.
Are they allowing Huff to test the free market? Or are they whipping this out? Franchise tag to secure his services for at least another season?
Last year, the franchise value for a defensive lineman was $19.5 million, but that value fluctuates from year to year. That’s a high number to give to any player, let alone one who hasn’t put up dominant sack stats.
Paul A. Esden Jr. covers the New York Jets for Heavy.com. The New York native is also the official PA voice of the Syracuse Strong Football Club and co-host of Cumulus Media’s morning show “The Manchild Show with Boy Green.” Prior to joining Heavy in 2021, Esden Jr. covered both national and New York sports for FanSided, Elite Sports NY and The Score 1260. More about Paul A. Esden Jr.