The Washington Commanders have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, and they locked down one of their starters for the 2023 season. On Wednesday, the Commanders announced that they had exercised the fifth-year option on Montez Sweat.
Sweat, who rushes the passer opposite Chase Young, recorded 24 combined tackles, 13 QB hits, five sacks and three forced fumbles in 10 games played last season. It marked the first time in his career that he missed time due to injury, as he fractured his jaw in Week 8. In 2020, Sweat had a career year with 45 combined tackles, 20 QB hits, nine sacks and two forced fumbles to go along with one interception.
Sweat was selected by Washington with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. After using their No. 15 overall pick on quarterback Dwayne Haskins, the Commanders traded back into the first round when they saw Sweat falling due to what was perceived to be a heart issue. It proved to be the right decision, as he had been misdiagnosed with what was thought to be hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Sweat made an impact right away with seven sacks in his rookie season.
Sweat will make a fully guaranteed $11.5 million in 2023, per Spotrac, which is a nice bump up from the $2.08 million base salary he has in 2022. In 42 career games, Sweat has recorded 119 combined tackles, 21 sacks, 46 QB hits and seven forced fumbles.