Prior to this weekend’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, the Chicago Bears implied that they would be selling at the trade deadline by sending Robert Quinn to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a fourth-round pick. The Vikings division rivals continued that trend of being trade deadline sellers on Monday.
During the afternoon, it was announced that the Bears would be moving the second of their remaining defensive stars. LB Roquan Smith now heads to the Baltimore Ravens, and in return, Chicago gets second and fifth round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft as well as AJ Klein.
The Bears also will be paying all but $575,000 of his remaining $5.048 million, which amounts to $4.833 million.
The trade comes on the heels of Chicago’s 49-29 blowout loss against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday; a day where the Bears offense played great while the defense struggled mightily. Their defense may continue their struggles without Smith.
Through 8 games, the star linebacker has recorded 82 tackles, three pass defenses, a pair of INTs, four TFLs, and 2.5 sacks. This trade comes after the 25-year-old held a hold-in during training camp and preseason because the Bears did not offer him a contract extension.
Though he called off the hold-in, he described the negotiations as “distasteful”, and there were de-escalators throughout the contract if his play dropped off.
Smith now goes to a Ravens defense that has had its struggles early in the season. They’ve given up the fourth-most yards in the league and rank 20th in points per game allowed with 22.9. Smith should be a bolster to this unit, particularly on the passing defense that has allowed 2134 yards through eight games.
It also means the Vikings will not play against the linebacker again unless the Vikings and Ravens meet in the Super Bowl. Minnesota’s next matchup with the Smith-less Bears occurs in Week 18 at Soldier Field. The game is scheduled for Sunday, January 8th at 12 PM CST.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.