The NFL trade deadline arrives on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET and teams are starting to make moves. A day after reports indicated a trade was not likely, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has reported the Chicago Bears are trading linebacker Roquan Smith. The deal sends Chicago’s 2018 first-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens. In return, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Bears will receive a second-round pick and a fifth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The move of Smith to the Ravens adds a strong defensive player to a Ravens unit in the AFC playoff hunt. Currently Baltimore is on top of the AFC North, but they can be challenged by the Cincinnati Bengals, who can pull into a tie with the Ravens with a win on Monday Night Football. For the Miami Dolphins, who are in a Wildcard position as the NFL season nears its halfway mark, Smith making the Ravens more dominant in the conference could be a good thing if they run away with the AFC North, but it could also hinder Miami’s Wildcard chances. Miami beat the Ravens, so they hold a head-to-head tiebreak over Baltimore, but they lost to the Bengals, giving Cincinnati the edge there.
Smith leaving Chicago could be perfectly timed for the Dolphins, however. Miami heads to Chicago to face the Bears this weekend, and they do now have a hole in their defense. Can the Dolphins take advantage of the move by exploiting the defensive changes in Chicago this weekend?
Based on the compensation spent in the trade, Baltimore Beatdown suggests the Ravens will likely extend Smith’s contract. He is currently set to be a free agent after this season as his rookie contract ends.
This is the second piece of Chicago’s defense to be traded away, following last week’s move to send Robert Quinn to the Philadelphia Eagles. As Windy City Gridiron points out, these moves now have the Bears scheduled to make nine picks in the 2023 NFL Draft: a first-round selection, two second-round picks, a third-rounder, two fourth-round picks, two fifth-round selections, and a seventh.
For more on the trades and to get updates on everything Ravens, check out Baltimore Beatdown. For the Bears side of things, including previews for this week’s game against the Dolphins, make sure you head over to Windy City Gridiron.