When the Detroit Lions face off against the Chicago Bears in their upcoming two matchups, they won’t have to face one of their team’s biggest defensive weapons. As first reported by FOX’s Jay Glazer, the Bears are trading linebacker and former eighth overall pick Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens. Per Adam Schefter, they are getting a 2023 second and fifth-round pick in return.
Smith, who currently leads all NFL players in tackles, has been caught up in contract disputes with the Bears all year, even holding out for nearly all of training camp. Instead of paying Smith, the Bears have chosen to accumulate picks for their own rebuild. Just a week ago, Chicago sent pass rusher Robert Quinn to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth-round pick.
Through eight weeks, the Bears are 3-5, but this clearly signals that their focus is on the future over their present, despite the fact that the NFC is currently in flux and they stand just a game out of a Wild Card spot currently being held by the 4-4 San Francisco 49ers.
The Lions obviously stand to benefit this year, as they still play two games against the Bears—on the road in Week 10 (Nov. 13) and at Ford Field in Week 18 (Jan. 1).