Chicago Bears: 5 hot takes on NFL officiating, Roquan Smith and more

Chicago Bears - Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Bears, Roquan Smith
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Hot take:  Roquan Smith doesn’t deserve 20 million dollars a year

Does Roquan Smith deserve 20 million dollars a year?

Roquan Smith is undoubtedly one of the best linebackers in the league and a leader on the defense, but just because Smith has established himself as a valuable piece to the team’s future doesn’t mean the Bears should feel forced to pay whatever he’s asking for. Smith is reaching the end of his rookie contract, and at only 24, he still has plenty of football left in him. Both sides seem eager to reach a long-term deal. The only question is how much money it will take to keep Smith in a Bears uniform.

One of the rumored contracts would make Smith the highest-paid linebacker in league history. After San Francisco 49ers star linebacker Fred Warner signed a 5-year $95.2 million contract this offseason, the bar is set high for star linebackers. Although Warner is more accomplished than Smith, the Bears will probably be looking at a similar contract. The team is already taking on other big contracts with Khalil Mack and Eddie Jackson on the defensive side. Throw in Smith’s expected contract, and the team would be paying around 60-million a year for those three.

Smith was snubbed of both a pro-bowl and a first-team all-pro selection, but it is still worth pointing out that he isn’t nearly as accomplished as the current two highest-paid middle linebackers: Darius Leonard and Fred Warner.

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Bottom line 

We know that Roquan Smith is a valuable contributor for the Bears and deserves a big contract; it’s just a matter of how big.  The Bears should make extending Smith a top priority this offseason, but they shouldn’t fall into a trap where they need to make him the highest-paid player at his position.