The Baltimore Ravens have reportedly made a blockbuster trade for Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Ravens have sent a second and fifth-round pick to the Bears in exchange for the star linebacker.
Smith has found himself at the center of trade rumors for the better part of the last six months following an impasse in contract extension discussions.
With the possibility that Smith could hold out in the future, Bears general manager Ryan Poles agreed to send him to Baltimore in a deal that could transform the Ravens’ defense.
At just 25 years old, Smith is already one of the best linebackers in the NFL. He’s a two-time second-team All-Pro who currently leads the league in tackles.
This is about as high-profile of an addition as it gets for general manager Eric DeCosta and company.
The Ravens make a major trade deadline splash with the addition of Roquan Smith
The eighth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Smith has quickly developed into one of the best young linebackers in football. He’s been named second-team All-Pro in each of the last two seasons and is among the most versatile and dynamic players at his position.
For a Ravens team that has struggled to find consistency at the linebacker position in recent years, Smith is the star linebacker the team has been missing.
With Patrick Queen putting together a career year, the Ravens now have a young, dynamic linebacker duo who could lead the defense for the foreseeable future.
Smith is set to be a free agent at the end of the season so the assumption is that a contract extension will be announced in the near future. The Ravens wouldn’t have made this trade if they didn’t have an extension lined up.
You could criticize this from a financial perspective and even a positional need perspective, but it’s hard to deny that the addition of Smith won’t take the Ravens’ defense to another level.
The Ravens now have star playmakers at every level of the defense. Smith could be the missing piece that ties it all together.
Yes, a wide receiver would be nice. A running back could be useful. But Roquan Smith is a superstar linebacker still on his rookie contract.
It’s hard not to be excited about the future of this Ravens’ defense.