Roquan Smith’s future is uncertain; What could the Bears get for the All-Pro?
The Chicago Bears have made it abundantly clear they won’t offer Roquan Smith what he wants, and deserves for a contract extension. Why is that? I legitimately have no idea. The new and “improved” front office is well aware of the ongoing rebuild, and as a result making it hard to negotiate. Smith also represents himself rather than having an agent.
Just 6 days ago, the All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith politely requested a trade on social media. This was a shock to Bears fans, and most of the NFL. Smith, just 25 years of age, has already become one of the best defensive players in the league. He was recently ranked at #84 on the NFL’s top 100 players list, which I think is criminally low for a player of such stature.
With that all being said, the likelihood of the star linebacker being dealt is going up by the minute. What could the possible return be for Roquan Smith? Here’s a few potential packages.
Cowboys form the best linebacker duo in football
Dallas Cowboys get: LB Roquan Smith
Chicago Bears get: 2023 2nd rounder, 2024 3rd rounder, 2024 6th rounder
I know Bears fans will cringe at this. Not Dallas!
While new GM Ryan Poles will likely try and move Roquan out of the NFC, this could be an intriguing package for Chicago. They stack a few high picks for the next couple of years, which seems to be the direction they want to head in. Ideally it would be nice for Dallas to include a player, but I don’t see anyone more valuable than those picks being on the block.
The Cowboys gain a massive talent next to superstar and the Defensive Rookie of the Year, Micah Parsons. Dallas linebacker Leighton Vander Esch has been battling injuries for a few years now, and seems to have lost a step. This trade could turn the Boys’ defense into a powerhouse in the NFC. They also have a huge 21.6 million dollars in cap space, the most in the conference.
Roquan Smith heads to the City of Angels
Los Angeles Chargers get: LB Roquan Smith
Chicago Bears get: LB Kenneth Murray, 2023 2nd round pick
These two organizations did a little business earlier this year, as the Chargers made a splash move acquiring the former Chicago edge rusher Khalil Mack. Los Angeles has just under 15 million in cap, so some roster adjustment would have to take place if they wanted to extend Smith. The Chargers made lots of big signings this past off-season, indicating they will most likely be all in.
Chicago gets the intriguing Kenneth Murray. After getting drafted 23rd overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, Murray had a solid first season in the league, racking up 107 combined tackles. He suffered an injury during practice in 2021, allowing him to play only 11 games and start just 6. The upside is definitely there for Murray, plus he’s young and under team control for a few more years.
The Chargers should be on the phone yesterday calling about Roquan Smith.
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) August 9, 2022
Los Angeles may be hesitant to give up on the young linebacker so early. However, the Chargers were awful defending the run last season, ranking 30th among the rest of the field. This could be a chance for the Bears to capitalize on a team making a Super Bowl push.
Chicago finds some much needed WR help
Pittsburgh Steelers get: LB Roquan Smith
Chicago Bears get: WR Chase Claypool, 2023 3rd rounder
This may be the most far fetched package, but you can’t tell me it doesn’t benefit both sides immensely. The Steelers would love to pair Roquan with newly signed linebacker Myles Jack, making a strong defense even stronger. The wide receiver room has a new face in George Pickens, so Chase Claypool could very well be on the block. Pittsburgh is in the market for linebacker help, as Devin Bush has been severely underwhelming.
Chase Claypool has unmatched potential. The former Notre Dame alum had a monster rookie season, racking up 62 receptions, 873 yards, and 11 total touchdowns. He unexpectedly struggled last year, and even showed some maturity issues throughout the season.
Nonetheless, adding Claypool would be an astronomical addition to this bottom tier WR corps. It gives Justin Fields a big target similar to AR3, and takes some pressure off of the soon to be double teamed Darnell Mooney.
#Steelers already have the NFL's most expensive defense, but… the difference between Devin Bush and Roquan Smith is massive.
Imagine going from Bush and Joe Schobert to Roquan and Myles Jack in one season.
— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 9, 2022
Like most Chicago Bear fans, I don’t think it would be smart whatsoever to part ways with Roquan Smith. He’s the best player on the team by a long margin, he’s just 25 years old, and one of the best at his position. Just because Poles and company want to rebuild, that doesn’t mean you give the heart and soul of your team away when he’s still so young. Here’s to hoping they work something out.
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