The Baltimore Ravens have been searching for linebacker help for the better part of the last half-decade. Could the solution to their frequent linebacker woes come in the form of disgruntled star Roquan Smith?
The simple answer is maybe, but don’t count on it.
Smith officially requested a trade from the Chicago Bears on Tuesday after the two sides reached an impasse with extension talks. The eighth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft is set to be a free agent at the end of the season, and the Bears don’t appear willing to pay Smith what he wants.
While the Bears organization insists that they have no plans to trade Smith, they might have no choice. The 25-year-old Smith holds all the leverage in this situation.
He’s set to be a free agent at the end of the season meaning that the Bears either have to pay him what he wants, trade him, or let him walk for the possibility of a measly compensatory draft pick.
That’s where a team like the Ravens could come in. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta hasn’t been one to shy away from making major trade acquisitions, especially ones that come at a bargain.
The Bears aren’t going to be able to land anything near equal value for Smith given the leverage he holds and his pending contract situation. Simply put, it seems highly unlikely that they’re even able to recoup a first-round pick.
Would the Ravens really consider paying top dollar to an off-ball linebacker who, while extremely talented, has had his ups and downs over the last few years? That much is unclear.
But if the Ravens do want to trade for Roquan Smith, here are three feasible trade packages that could get the job done.