1. Ravens trade a second-round pick for Roquan Smith
This is the most straightforward package on this list, and it’s one the Bears might have to consider if Smith’s relationship with the organization continues to deteriorate.
There aren’t many recent examples of a talented off-ball linebacker on expiring contracts getting traded. The New York Jets traded Jonathan Vilma to the New Orleans Saints for third and fourth-round picks back in 2008. Eight years later, the New England Patriots shipped Pro Bowler Jamie Collins to Cleveland for a third-round pick.
It’s safe to suggest that the 25-year-old Smith would command more than Vilma and Collins did, but how much more? A second-round pick feels like a good starting point.
Smith is undoubtedly one of the most talented young linebackers in the NFL, but his career in Chicago has had its ups and downs. He’s coming off a 2021 season in which he finished with a Pro Football Focus grade of just 47.8, ranking him 62nd out of 87 qualified linebackers.
He was excellent in coverage, earning a 69.2 PFF coverage grade that ranked top-12 at his position. However, his abysmal 30.0 run-defense grade ranked 80th out of just 86 qualifiers.
PFF grades aren’t everything, of course, but Smith did finish 12th in the NFL in missed tackles among linebackers to play at least 80 percent of their team’s run-defense snaps.
More importantly, Smith’s leverage to force a trade and his tricky contract situation significantly hurt his trade value. A second-round pick might be the best Chicago can do.