18 Players the Chicago Bears gave up on way too soon

Chicago Bears, Greg Olsen
Chicago Bears, Greg Olsen / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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Chicago Bears, Roquan Smith
Chicago Bears, Roquan Smith / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Chicago Bears gave up too soon on Roquan Smith

This one is too soon to truly know for sure, but it's quite possible that the Chicago Bears gave up too soon on Roquan Smith. I'll fully admit that I wasn't keen on the idea of paying Smith $20 million per year to stay in Chicago. I thought he was worth no more than $18 million per year only because of the nature of the position. As I have said over and over again, off-the-ball linebackers are the running backs of the defense. It actually looks like they are still viewed more highly than running backs.

I viewed Roquan Smith as a top-three linebacker before he was traded to the Baltimore Ravens. He's easily a top-five linebacker and that hasn't changed. The downside of Smith here in Chicago was his inability to create multiple takeaways. In five years, he only has nine takeaways. That could be worse, but Matt Eberflus puts a high priority on takeaways. They are a major part of his HITS principles.

In the end, Ryan Poles was able to bring in Tremaine Edmunds. Edmunds has fewer takeaways himself, but his coverage skills and playing style better fit the Chicago Bears. Ryan Poles was able to lock him in for less than what Roquan Smith cost too. We will have to see how things play out. It appears that Edmunds will be better suited here than Smith, but things could go sideways and then fans will quickly change their tune to say the Bears turned their back on Smith too soon.