Ahead of a Week 8 contest in Nashville, reports surfaced that the Falcons offered a third-round pick for Commanders’ defender Montez Sweat.
NFL insider Jay Glazer said on Sunday that Washington will trade “at least” one of their premier defensive linemen at this trade deadline, and the Georgia native seems to be Atlanta’s preference out of him and Chase Young.
Another wrinkle has been added to this potential deal. According to The Athletic, one team has offered the Commanders a third-round pick that would turn into a second-rounder if Sweat agrees to a contract extension.
There was no reference to the Falcons as that team, but the piece immediately mentioned Atlanta as one of the teams that is interested following the report of the conditional second-round pick offer.
This is interesting because there’s absolutely no reason for the Falcons to be buyers at the trade deadline unless it’s to bolster the depth of the roster. A blockbuster deal could only be warranted if a contract extension followed the trade.
Even though it seems convenient that Atlanta is looking into defensive linemen after the news that Grady Jarrett is out for the season with a torn ACL, it’s still a long-term move.
Terry Fontenot is obviously looking to improve the team in 2023, but a trade for Sweat is just a free agent move in the middle of the season. Instead of letting Montez Sweat reach free agency and weigh multiple contract offers, Fontenot can avoid a bidding war and lock up the pass rusher to a long-term deal.
Some might argue keeping that hypothetical second-round pick and signing Sweat in free agency is the smarter decision, but it’s not that simple.
The Falcons haven’t shown an ability to use a second-round pick on an impact player or one even close to the caliber of a player like Montez Sweat. Avoiding potentially losing him in free agency and guaranteeing that he’ll be in Atlanta is worth the price of a second-rounder.
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