All-Pro LB Roquan Smith Requests a Trade From the Chicago Bears

Roquan Smith

Tuesday morning Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith announced that he has requested a trade. NFL Insider Ian Rapoport posted a lengthy message from Smith going into detail on his request.

In his message he mentions how he doesn’t feel valued by the new front office. He also states that he loves the Bears franchise and is extremely honored to play in a Bears uniform. During their process of working out a new contract Smith feels that he has lost the trust from the GM.

Roquan Smith was the No. 8 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft out of the University of Georgia. Since then he has gone on to rack up over 520 total tackles and earn two 2nd Team All-Pro selections. He has been one of the best linebackers in the NFL and a huge part of the Chicago Bears since arriving in 2018.

Last season we saw the Colts extend Shaquille Leonard with a $98.5M/5yr deal. Fred Warner’s deal with San Francisco is also very similar breaking down to about $19M a season. In Smith’s message on his trade he stated he believes the current deal offered wouldn’t be fair for the LB market as a whole. I wouldn’t be shocked if Roquan is looking in the range of $20.5M/year. Next season Chicago is expected to have over $91M in cap space which would be the highest in the league. 

It is safe to say that plenty of teams will be interested in acquiring Smith’s talents. No teams have yet to come out with a trade package and I am sure the Bears would be looking for a pretty penny in exchange. With the way that Chicago has been trending the past few seasons; blowing it up and trading for maximum assets might not be a bad idea.

However, keeping a home grown elite talent is ultimately the main goal for everyone. Get drafted, ball out, get paid. It will be interesting to see how this situation gets resolved, and the ripple effects it could cause.