Grading Chicago Bears GM Ryan Poles decision to trade Roquan Smith

Chicago Bears - Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports /

One of the biggest moves that Ryan Poles made this season was trading Roquan Smith. The Chicago Bears did not win a game after Smith was traded, and he went on to make the All-Pro team while signing an extension with the Baltimore Ravens.

On the surface, it does not look good, but there are reasons to be optimistic. The Chicago Bears got picks 54, and 158 for Roquan Smith, so we truly will be grading with the realization that we do not know the outcome of the trade yet.

Grading Chicago Bears trading Roquan Smith

Still, the big reason why Poles wanted the picks for the players is the salary. Smith will be making $20M over the next five seasons, while those picks will combine for about a quarter of that over the next four years.

The ability to not only add two players but then also have $10-$15M in extra cap space allows the team to be much more flexible with their decisions.

The Chicago Bears have heaps of cap space, but when you need four starters on your defensive line, a right tackle, and a wideout, the space will start to bleed thin.

Matt Eberflus is a linebackers coach, and he brought Dave Borgonzi, who has a great track record with linebackers. So, it may be no surprise that Jack Sanborn filled in well as a UDFA. They will be looking at him to start next season, and he will be making under $1M.

If linebacker is the one spot that the Chicago Bears can stay cheap at, it will allow them to spend big elsewhere. So, this can easily be a situation where we see win-win trade.

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The Baltimore Ravens added a scheme fit at linebacker, and their team relies on that spot more than Chicago does. They were in a win-now window, and it made sense. However, the Chicago Bears needed the cap space to build the rest of their team. To add in the draft picks means adding two players on cheap four-year contracts, and that second-round pick could be a real hit.

It is not quite a slam dunk A+ hit, but it still makes sense.

Grading Roquan Smith trade: C+