How Fred Warner impacts Roquan Smith extension with Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears are going to extend Roquan Smith. The question is not whether they will, it is when. We wrote earlier this offseason that they have the luxury of waiting until next year to re-sign him due to the fifth-year option. However, it just so happens that the draft that he was in also had Fred Warner, and Darius Leonard, two linebackers that are set to break the bank and create a new market for the position.

The Bears can surely wait, but they could have tried to beat Leonard or Warner. However, Warner just signed an extension. Check out the details below.

Overall it is a 5-year, $95.2 million contract, but it comes with $40.5 in guarantees which Is what truly matters. With that in mind, he is essentially locked in through 2024 with 2025 and 2026 being years that the 49ers could get out of if things happen.

Overall the perception around Fred Warner is stronger than Roquan Smith. It helps that Warner broke out during a Super Bowl run while Roquan Smith took a year or so to get his feet in the NFL.

Still, while Warner gets all the praise, it is going to be hard to knock anyone who thinks that Smith will have a bigger contract when all is said and done. On tape, Warner may get the edge for now, but Smith in 2020 was ascending towards being in a similar tier.

Beyond that, there is not much separation statistically. Below you can see their career totals from a raw numbers perspective.

Totals Table
1Roquan Smith3144253108133111.01140
2Fred Warner364825311414154.05331

Warner has been healthier and has played four more games, but the tackle numbers are close and the tackles behind the line, whether it be TFLs or sacks, belong to Roquan Smith. It is worth noting that Warner forced five fumbles and picked off 3 balls while Smith picked off 4 and only forced one. A 7 to 5 advantage for Warner is takeaways.

Below you can see their per-game numbers.

Per Game Table
1Roquan Smith5.
2Fred Warner5.

Advanced Stats

And now below, we look at their advanced stats. We also added others from the 2018 draft class for perspective. It Is interesting to note that Warner has more pressures despite far fewer sacks. However, Smith has far fewer missed tackles and has more stops, which includes against the pass and run. These are tackles that are impactful. They also have similar YAC/C.

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The Darius Leonard factor

Not long after Fred Warner signed his extension Adam Schefter tweeted that Darius Leonard is next up. With the salary cap rising again and for the foreseeable future, the reality is that contracts consistently get topped every year.  Eddie Jackson signed his contract to be the highest-paid safety in the NFL and it did not take long for Budda Baker and Justin Simmons to top him. The last contract is just a framework for the next contract of another star.

Fred Warner getting his deal only paves a way for Darius Leonard. Leonard will only pave a larger deal for Roquan Smith. Beyond that, Smith has the chance to play next season and if he has a great season, it will be a no-brainer.

Next. Roquan Smith in rare territory for his age. dark

Warner signed 5 years, $92 million, and $40 million guaranteed. Let’s say Leonard gets 5 years $95 million and $42 guaranteed. All of a sudden 5-years, $100 million, and $45 million are on the table for Roquan Smith.