Roquan Smith trades grades for Ravens, Bears: Baltimore acquires two-time All-Pro linebacker

Roquan Smith trades grades for Ravens, Bears: Baltimore acquires two-time All-Pro linebacker

Roquan Smith trades grades for Ravens, Bears: Baltimore acquires two-time All-Pro linebacker

That Baltimore Ravens act for Chicago Bears two-time All-Pro linebacker Roquan SmithCBS Sports NFL Insiders Jonathan Jones and Josina Anderson have confirmed. In return, the Bears received second- and fifth-round picks along with linebacker AJ Klein. Smith is the second high-profile defenseman to be dealt by the Bears in the last week — just before the NFL trade deadline (4 p.m. ET Tuesday) — after Chicago edge rusher Robert Quinn traded to the Eagles.

Smith, the No. 8 overall pick in 2018 NFL draftHe has recorded 83 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two interceptions this season. In over four seasons, the Georgia product has missed just four games. The former SEC Defensive Player of the Year has been a playmaker since arriving in the league, amassing over 600 tackles, 16.5 sacks, a forced fumble, seven interceptions and a touchdown.

The 25-year-old is in the final year of his rookie contract and is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season. Spotrac.com predicts a median annual salary of $17.6 million, which would be the second-highest among active off-ball linebackers; a high price for the position.

When a question arose about the state of contract negotiations during preseason, first-year general manager Ryan Poles said: via ChicagoBears.com:

“I think he is a very good football player. i love the boy I love what he’s done on the field, which makes me really disappointed with where we are right now. I thought we were in a better position. Be honest with you… However, we can’t lose sight of the fact that this isn’t about a player. My job is to build a roster that will be successful over a long period of time. On that day, we must do what is best for the Chicago Bears.”

Baltimore leads the AFC North rankings with a 5-3 record. Smith joins a group that includes former first-round pick Patrick Queen, as well as Josh Bynes, AJ Klein and Malik Harrison.

With Smith out of the picture, the Bears are left with young linebackers Sterling Weatherford and Jack Sanborn, and the free agent signing Nicholas Morrow.

The Bears sent Quinn to Philadelphia last week in exchange for draft compensation. News of Quinn’s trade was broken to the Smith during his own media availability. which evoked raw emotions. Poles is raising draft capital in his first year on the job. Chicago fell to 3-5 on the year with a loss to Dallas over the weekend.

Trade Grades: Ravens B+, Bears B-

The Ravens are sure to have a playmaker on the back that has turned things around in recent weeks. Smith leads the NFL in 83 tackles and always has a knack for finding football, with two interceptions and 2.5 sacks a year. Not only has Smith recorded double-digit tackles in all but two games this season, but he has 100+ tackles in all four of his NFL seasons and his 246 tackles are the fourth-most in the NFL.

Josh Bynes has been reliable for the Ravens since his return last year, but Baltimore needs a playmaking linebacker in the MIKE to pair with Patrick Queen. Whether the Ravens can sign Smith on a long-term deal will confirm that deal, but Baltimore is aiming for it.

As for the Bears, getting a second-round and fifth-round pick along with Klein is part of their rebuild. Chicago got three draft picks in return for Smith and Robert Quinn. They will have a first, two second, a third, two fourth, two fifth and a seventh in the 2023 draft. The renovation is pending.

-Jeff Kerr





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