The NFL trade deadline has come and gone, leaving many Falcons fans disappointed.
Atlanta did land Kentavius Street and Van Jefferson, but fans got their hopes up for Montez Sweat, who the Commanders traded to the Bears. The Falcons were rumored to be interested, and it was even confirmed that Atlanta had offered Washington a third-round pick, which Chicago beat with a second-round pick.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler described Atlanta’s deadline as not ‘colossal losers’ but didn’t consider them winners, including the Falcons in the “who are the biggest losers of the trade deadline” section. However, Fowler made an interesting note. Atlanta was willing to hand Sweat a contract extension, and he wanted to go to Atlanta.
Fowler: No colossal losers here, but I’ll point to a pair of teams in the NFC South. Atlanta had its sights set on Sweat, but Washington went with Chicago’s offer. That left the Falcons without much-needed pass-rush help. And my understanding is Atlanta was willing to extend Sweat’s contract as part of the deal and that Sweat wanted to go to Atlanta, where he has family. All of that fell through. Coming out of this with former Eagle Kentavius Street for a late-round pick swap is anticlimactic.
Firstly, I don’t consider the Falcons losers for not upping their offer to beat the Bears’ second-round pick. Chicago’s second-round pick was a glorified first-rounder, so Terry Fontenot would’ve had to give up a first-round pick for Sweat, who is certainly not worth that kind of compensation. Sometimes the best deals are the ones general managers don’t make, and I think that’s the case here.
An interesting facet of this deal for the Bears is their belief they’ll get a contract extension done. That’s the only reason this deal makes sense for them. However, if Fowler’s reports are accurate and Sweat wants to be in Atlanta, this has the chance to blow up in the Bears’ faces. Money talks, though. If Chicago offers a deal he can’t refuse, I expect Sweat to sign a long-term contract with the Bears.
There’s an outside chance that the Falcons still sign Sweat in free agency. There’s not much to love about Atlanta’s organization, but it’s probably less of a crap show than the one in Chicago. If Sweat prefers to be near his family, the Falcons could still end up with him and their second-round pick.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire