After losing to the Dallas Cowboys in nearly blowout fashion, the Chicago Bears are reportedly trading star linebacker Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens. According to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport, the two teams agreed on the trade this afternoon.
In return for the 25-year-old linebacker, the Ravens are sending two draft picks to Chicago. Adam Schefter reports the Bears are receiving second and fifth-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. Josina Anderson of CBS Sports adds that the Bears will also receive linebacker A.J. Klein from the Ravens.
Roquan Smith With The Chicago Bears
Roquan Smith had a tumultuous offseason before rejoining the Chicago Bears in Week 1. With contract negotiations, holdouts, and hold-ins, it was only a matter of time before Smith's fate was determined.
Chicago Bears GM Ryan Poles made it abundantly clear that his focus is on the future of the franchise when he traded Robert Quinn to the Eagles last week. The Bears gained draft capital with that move and are set up for success with picks aplenty in the near future.
In five years with the Chicago Bears, Roquan Smith recorded 400 solo tackles. He sacked opposing quarterbacks 16.5 times, forced one fumble, and recovered another. He stole seven interceptions and returned one of them for a touchdown.
But Smith is more than just a great player on the field. He's a leader in the locker room, especially as he's aged. Leading the Bears and their stellar defense for the last five years was impressive across the NFL.
The Baltimore Ravens are gaining tremendous value during a contending season and the draft picks they gave up for a player of Roquan Smith's caliber will not be missed anytime soon.
As for Chicago Bears fans, they will miss No. 58 both on and off the field. But the focus is on the future and in Ryan Poles they must trust.