Coach Matt Eberflus was thrilled that the Bears were able to acquire defensive end Montez Sweat from the Commanders hours before the NFL trade deadline Tuesday.
General manager Ryan Poles sent a 2024 second-round draft pick to Washington in exchange for the fifth-year pro, who has recorded 35.5 sacks in 67 career games.
"With Montez Sweat, I had a great conversation with him," Eberflus said Wednesday. "[He's] super excited to join the Bears. Ryan and his staff worked tirelessly to get that done during the trade deadline over the last week or so. Excellent job by those guys with [acquiring] a premier player like 'Tez.'"
Sweat was selected by the Commanders with the 26th pick in the first round of the 2019 draft out of Mississippi State. He made an immediate impact, starting all 16 games as a rookie and registering 50 tackles and 7.0 sacks. The Georgia native has produced at the same consistent level throughout his career.
"When I evaluated him coming out from Mississippi State, and also since he's been in the pros," Eberflus said, "what's unique about him is that he's one heck of a pass rusher, but he also, talking to the guys that have played against him in the building and just watching his tape, he's a really good run player and plays with a great motor.
"He's a great practice player, just talking to the guys that have been with him. He's going to fit right into our culture in terms of working, and your best players have got to be your hardest workers. So that's Montez. Super excited to have him, for sure."
Young on move: The Bears are switching Omar Young from assistant quarterbacks and receivers coach to running backs coach. He coached running backs at Eastern Illinois in 2020-21 and served as Bears offensive quality control coach in 2022.
Young replaces David Walker, who was relieved of his duties Wednesday.
Staying put: After failing to reach agreement on a contract extension, cornerback Jaylon Johnson asked for and received permission from the Bears Monday night to seek a trade. But the fourth-year pro was not dealt before Tuesday's deadline.
"I'm just going to continue to play ball, continue to grow, and see what happens after that," Johnson said.
Selected by the Bears in the second round of the 2020 draft out of Utah, Johnson has started all 45 games he's appeared in, registering 143 tackles, three interceptions, 35 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Two of his picks came in the fourth quarter of an Oct. 22 win over the Raiders at Soldier Field.
Johnson reiterated that he wants to remain with the Bears long-term and insisted that his approach will stay the same the rest of the season.
"I've been playing high level football all year," Johnson said. "Nothing for me is going to change. My attitude isn't going to change. Me being who I am isn't going to change. At the end of the day, me doing what I need to do helps the Bears as well.
"My level of expectation of play and making plays hasn't changed because of the situation. I'm still going to continue to play the game at a high level, continue to reach to get interceptions and turn the ball over."
Poles told reporters Wednesday that he had "really good meetings" with Johnson's representatives in Los Angeles before last Sunday night's game against the Chargers and thought a deal would get completed in "a matter of days."
While that didn't transpire, Poles still hopes to sign Johnson to an extension.
"I don't want to lose Jaylon Johnson," Poles said. "If I were to lose Jaylon Johnson, I would like to have a high percentage of hitting on another Jaylon Johnson, which to me is a late first- and into early second- [round pick]. Really simple there. That didn't happen. We are still open to getting a contract done, and I'm going to follow Jaylon's lead on how he wants to go about doing that. But we're still open, and Jaylon and I have talked as recently as today."
Injury update: The Bears conducted a walk-through Wednesday in advance of Sunday's game in New Orleans. Had they practiced, quarterback Justin Fields (right thumb), right guard Nate Davis (ankle), linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (knee), cornerback Terell Smith (illness) and safety Jaquan Brisker (concussion) would not have been able to participate.