Chicago Bears: What to expect from new running back D'Andre Swift

The Chicago Bears opened the free agency negotiation period by agreeing to terms with running back D'Andre Swift. Here is what to expect from him.

Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

The NFL's free agency negotiation period started on Monday. That is the unofficial start of the free agency frenzy. Teams can come to agreements on contracts with free agency but nothing is official until Wednesday at 4 PM Eastern. That is when the new league year begins. The Chicago Bears were among the teams that made a move.

The Bears bolstered their running game by agreeing to terms with D'Andre Swift. Swift was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 2020 draft, In 2023, the Lions moved on from him. They traded him to the Philadelphia Eagles. There, he had a career season. He rushed for 1,049 yards and 5 touchdowns. Additionally, he had 39 catches for 214 receiving yards and a touchdown. The rushing yards ranked fifth in the league.

The Chicago Bears opened the NFL's free agent negotiation period by agreeing to terms with running back D'Andre Swift. Here is what to expect from him.

While the Bears have been successful running the ball in the past two seasons (they led the league in rushing in 2022 and were second in 2023), it was mainly because of quarterback Justin Fields' running ability. He led the team in rushing both seasons and in 2023 he (along with backup QB Tyson Bagent) accounted for nearly one-third of the rushing total.

Chicago still has Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson. They will now play backup roles to Swift. The trio gives the Bears a good mix of big yard playmakers, battering rods, and pass catching. If Fields stays in Chicago, the Bears' rushing attack could become even better.

So what does Swift bring to the table for the Chicago Bears? Let's take a look.


Swift gives the Bears an explosiveness that, aside from FIelds, the run game lacks. Swift can make a cut and explode past the gap. Herbert has the ability to break off big runs, he doesn't explode. He is patient and waits for the holes to open. He does not have the breakaway speed to put distance between himself and the defender.

Pass catching ability

Swift's ability to cut on a dime and explode makes him a valuable contributor in the passing game. He has good hands and can fight the receiver for the ball. Additionally, once he makes the catch he is able to cut and separate from the defender. He can then run away and turn a short pass into a big play.

He can be a bruiser

In addition to having some speed to break away from defenders, Swift can also be a bruising running back. He can blast into a defender, bounce off, and then keep going. While injury is a risk that comes with that, he won't have to worry about taking too many hits. Johnson can take a lot of snaps to help keep Swift fresh throughout a game.

Johnson is a similar player to Swift. He is a bruising back who can also bounce off tackle attempts while also being a good option in the passing game. He and Swift can work together to wear defenses down. Then they can run over them. Throw in Herbert's ability to make big runs and the Bears could be very tough down the stretch of a game.


Injuries are a concern with Swift. He missed 12 games, 11 of them due to injury. As mentioned earlier, however, the trio of running backs will help keep all three backs fresh. While Swift will be the unquestioned starter, the ball can be spread to keep the injury concerns at bay. Swift had a healthy 2023 and he thrived. He needs to have more of that in Chicago.