Ravens projected to land LB Roquan Smith in blockbuster trade

Ravens, Roquan Smith Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Roquan Smith Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens have been searching for linebacker help for the better part of the last half-decade, and as such, they’ve been connected to every potential linebacker upgrade available. One recent name has been Roquan Smith.

Smith formally requested a trade from the Bears in the offseason before agreeing to play out his rookie deal in Chicago. Still, rumors have swirled that the star linebacker could be on the move.

The Ravens are one of the teams that have been heavily connected to Smith over the last few months, and with the trade deadline approaching in a couple of weeks, those rumors have popped up again.

Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox recently projected the Ravens to send a 2023 first-round pick to the Bears for Smith in a trade that would “change the Super Bowl LVII race.”

"“The Baltimore Ravens have an offense capable of competing for a championship….But the defense has been a disaster. The Ravens have allowed an average of 6.3 yards per pass play and 4.5 yards per rush while surrendering an average of 23.5 points per game. At 3-3, the Ravens may need to make a move to enter the Super Bowl conversation.Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith could help all areas of the Ravens defense. This year, he’s racked up 66 tackles, 40 solo stops, 1.5 sacks and an interception. He has allowed an opposing passer rating of 69.2 in coverage.”"

Don’t expect the Ravens to trade for Roquan Smith

On the surface, this trade makes some sense. The Ravens would land a young, star player at a position of need while the Bears would recoup significant draft capital for a player who wants out. That said, it’s hard to imagine the Ravens make this move.

For starters, trading for Smith would require the Ravens to put together a hefty extension for their new defensive standout. Off-ball linebacker contracts have typically aged very poorly in recent years and Smith, while talented, has seen his share of ups and downs throughout his career.

He’s a great player — but a volatile one.

On top of that, the Ravens still have to worry about the impending extension for Lamar Jackson. They don’t necessarily have the luxury of throwing big money at linebackers right now, especially one that requires a first-round pick to acquire.

If the Ravens are to make a move at the deadline, it seems more likely that they would be on the lookout for a wide receiver than a linebacker.

Patrick Queen has graded out as the second-best linebacker in the NFL over the last two weeks, per Pro Football Focus. Josh Bynes is far from a long-term solution, but he’s more than capable of holding his own for the time being.

Linebacker doesn’t feel like as big of a need as it did early in the season.

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Roquan Smith would be a fun, high-profile addition to a Ravens defense that could use some work, but the price just isn’t right. Don’t expect this one to happen.