With the NFL trade deadline being set on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, many trades have been made as of late. Perhaps the one that has caught quite some attention is the trade of Roquan Smith. On Monday, the 1st of November, the Ravens were said to have acquired the NFL’s leading tackler, Roquan Smith.
The Ravens are to send the Bears a second as well as a fifth-round pick in 2023 for the deal with Smith, a 2-time All-Pro inside linebacker. As per the role of the trade, the Ravens have sent linebacker A.J. Klein to Chicago, and the Bears are also said to be picking up $4.833 million of Smith’s $5.408 million for the remainder of the season.
This was seen to be coming for quite some time however from both sides. Smith was a former first-round pick who was soon going into the last year of his rookie contract. He wanted an extension, and the lack of movement on that front has led to the trade being requested even before the season commenced.
He had a productive first half of the season and that has paid off since he got traded for a contender. It is quite likely that the Ravens will want to lengthen his contract after dispatching two draft picks to Chicago in the trade to make the deal worth it.
Bears Ended Up Losing To Dallas Cowboys
The Bears ended up losing to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday the 30th of October which ended up dropping their record down to 3-5. They were already looking to sell even before the 1st November trade deadline, sending pass rusher and veteran defensive end Robert Quinn over to the Philadelphia Eagles sometime around Wednesday last week.
The Bears are rebuilding their entire team and it is quite clear that first-year general manager Ryan Poles isn’t afraid to pull off some plays even if it is a setback for the short term such as trading Smith and Quinn.
Thereupon failing to agree on a contract extension during the off-season, Smith went on to publicly urge a trade on August 9th, the linebacker ceased his hold-in and bet on himself by playing out his $9.7 million 5th-year option. He was doing pretty well too, steering the NFL with 83 tackles while notching 2.5 sacks and 2 interceptions in 8 games.
Both Chicago and Smith weren’t able to reach an agreement and it is difficult to imagine that they would be willing to keep Smith for $20 million per year when the team’s interest was in building their offense. Poles have been determined in his belief of building through the draft and now Chicago has 9 draft picks to make that possible in 2023, including additional 2nd-round and 4th-round picks, two each, due to the Quinn and Smith trades.
The Trade of Roquan Smith
The trade of Smith to the Ravens however seems to be promising. Smith can provide the Ravens with the best play-making and leadership power in the middle ever since Ray Lewis. He is one of 2 players with at the minimum 500 tackles and 15 sacks over the former 5 seasons, Shaquille Leonard being the other. The Raven’s biggest problem as of now is their center of defense — and it has been that manner ever since C.J. Mosley left after the 2018 season. The Ravens have allowed the 3rd-most yards after the catch (784) on passes thrown fewer than 5 yards downfield.
Ravens too, on the other hand, seem to be a great fit for Smith and his skills. With the physical aspects to take advantage of all three downs, Smith can be on the field as a versatile defender in coordinator Mike Macdonald’s operation, plugging holes in the run game and racking up tackles.
Smith has great pursuit speed as well as a disruptive capacity to create impact plays as a stack backer in Baltimore. The Ravens have permitted opponents to pick up first downs on 27.4% of their rushes, which ranks at about 26th in the league. They will be able to do greater with Smith on the field. Here’s to more exciting teams and matches.