NFL journalist Albert Breer has hinted at a possible destination for Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith following his recent announcement.
In a rather incredible act of a player coming out and saying what they feel rather than bottling it up inside or keeping it private and within the building, Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith made it public on social media that he has asked the team for a trade.
Smith has made an impressive impact in the NFL ever since he was drafted by the Bears in the 1st round of the 2018 NFL Draft when they took him #8 overall. In his four years so far in the NFL, he has amassed 524 total tackles, 14 sacks, 17 pass deflections and 5 interceptions, making him a threat in pretty much all facets on the defensive side of the ball that was reflected in him being named 2nd-Team All-Pro in 2020 and 2021.
The Bears clearly saw that potential with him as they exercised the 5th-year option on his rookie contract ahead of the 2021 season, locking him in for this season, but he doesn’t have his services secured beyond this campaign, and after the team ‘refused to negotiate in good faith’, he clearly feels as though he should go to a team that values him more.
Jumping off a sinking ship?
Given the way that the Bears have been performing in recent years, this might be the right time for Smith to move. They won 12 games during his first season there, enough to win the NFC North title, but since then the team have been on a downward slope, winning 8 games in 2019 and 2020, then just 6 games in 2021.
And with this season set to be the first of Justin Fields being the full-time starter and with the team appointing a new head coach and general manager during this past offseason, the Bears are in rebuilding mode, and that might not be something that Smith wants to be a part of, because his talent certainly warrants being on a team that is contending for a title.
And Breer believes that a team who has already made a big splash this offseason could be the one to make it happen.
Rocky Mountain Roquan?
Writing in a mailbag column for SI.com, Breer believes that the Denver Broncos could be a team that he would be a good fit for, but did note that following their acquisition of quarterback Russell Wilson, it might be hard for them to find the capital to make it happen:
“The Broncos make some sense, because they’re all in with the group they’ve built over the last couple of years, and Smith would give the team a heart-and-soul player on defense to match with Russell Wilson on offense (kind of like how Bobby Wagner was that guy in Seattle). The problem there is Denver’s already short on picks, after the Wilson trade.”
Now there is always a way to make a deal happen in the NFL, even if it means that the Broncos have to give up a player or two in the process, similar to how they also traded Drew Lock, Noah Fant and Shelby Harris to the Seattle Seahawks, as well as a few picks to get Wilson.
And with the first competitive NFL games less than a month away, you have to imagine that any team that picks him up, whether that be the Broncos or someone else, will have to act fast in order to get him acclimatised before the season starts.