Roquan Smith was one of the few players the former general manager Ryan Pace was able to hit in his tenure, which was filled with plenty of players who did not live up to their high draft status. He thrived with the Chicago Bears and many thought he was going to be the next great Bear linebacker, who will follow the footsteps of the legendary Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, Brian Urlacher, and Lance Briggs.
But last season, with the hiring of head coach Matt Eberflus, the defense switched from 3-4 to 4-3, which did not suit Smith's skill set. Also, his rookie contract was set to expire, and was seeking to become the highest-paid linebacker too.
The Bears, who were going through a massive roster upheaval were noncommittal. Eventually, he was traded to the Baltimore Ravens at the trade deadline last year for a 2023 second-round pick.
Since the trade, Smith has thrived in Baltimore's 3-4 defense and resigned for 5 years, a $100 million extension. Good for him.
Smith made headlines on Tuesday in a recent interview with Albert Breer of SI when he said he was glad he was traded because he would not be competing for the title anytime soon had he stayed in Chicago. He didn't hold back during this interview.
"It makes me so happy, just knowing my career is not going down the drain."- Roquan Smith, LB - Baltimore Ravens