Roquan Smith traded to Ravens in blockbuster deal with Bears
The Baltimore Ravens have upgraded their much-maligned defense in a major way, as they pulled off a blockbuster trade for Chicago Bears star linebacker Roquan Smith, as reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
In exchange, the Ravens are sending second and fifth-round picks to the Bears for Smith, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Both selections are in the 2023 NFL Draft. Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reports that veteran linebacker A.J. Klein is headed to Chicago in the deal.
It’s a huge move for the Ravens, whose defense ranks 24th overall while allowing 22.9 points per game.
In Roquan Smith, the Ravens are getting one of the league’s best tacklers, as the Bears ‘backer currently leads the NFL in the category. The former first-round pick is also serviceable in pass coverage, something that should only help to improve the Baltimore defense.
For Smith personally, this is a welcome change of scenery after a frustrating hold-in at training camp that resulted in a trade request that the longtime Bears star called “emotional.”
The 5-3 Ravens present a much clearer path to contention than the 3-5 Bears, putting Smith in a position to contribute to a winning team for the first time since the 2018 season.
For the Bears, it’s yet another rebuilding move, as the franchise is fresh off of trading Pro Bowl pass rusher Robert Quinn to the Philadelphia Eagles, a deal that netted Chicago a fourth-round pick.
In a whirlwind of moves, Bears general manager Ryan Poles has dealt All-Pro Khalil Mack, Quinn and Smith, all defensive stalwarts, since this offseason, as the rebuild is in full swing.
Meanwhile, the Ravens will attempt to push for a Super Bowl with one of the best linebackers, Roquan Smith, now on the roster following the huge trade.
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