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Roundtable reaction: Ravens trade for LB Roquan Smith

The Beatdown crew reacts to the signing of inside linebacker Roquan Smith

Washington Commanders v Chicago Bears Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

According to multiple reports, the Baltimore Ravens have traded for Chicago Bears inside linebacker Roquan Smith. Below, you’ll find the reactions of the staff here at Baltimore Beatdown.

This was a match many were expecting to be made months ago when Roquan Smith was upset with the Chicago Bears over contract negotiations. Smith meshes well in this defense and pairing him with Patrick Queen is a splendid match. Strictly football, this moves the needle. The Ravens have been hurting for talent at inside linebacker. Queen has flashes of inconsistent brilliance and though Bynes was admirable in 2021, he’s begun to slow up and struggle more.

The compensation is a bit high, as the Ravens sent a second- and a fifth-round pick, but it’s for a quality player. The contract situation will be most intriguing. Smith does not have an agent and represents himself in contract negotiations, similar to one Lamar Jackson. The Ravens won’t be able to use the franchise tag on Smith either, as they most certainly will be using it on Jackson if they still cannot complete a deal by the time free agency arrives. — Kyle Barber

We should have seen this coming: Eric DeCosta making a deadline trade for a big-name defensive player. While inside linebacker isn’t the Ravens’ biggest area of need, Roquan Smith is an All-Pro talent in the prime of his career at age 25. He instantly makes the Ravens’ defense better at all three levels as a legitimate coverage and tackling ace in the middle of the field. Smith has an all-around skill set and the pairing of him with Patrick Queen is promising.

No, this isn’t the splash move for a wide receiver everyone wants. And, there’s question marks to be answered regarding Smith’s contract. However, if you want to have legitimate championship aspirations, it always helps to have as many blue-chip players as possible. Smith is more valuable than a second or fifth-round draft pick. — Frank Platko

This seems like more of a committed move than we’re used to seeing from Eric DeCosta. The compensation packages for Marcus Peters and Yannick Ngakoue weren’t exceptionally high risk, either from an asset, or contract standpoint. In the final year of his rookie deal, Smith will be expensive to keep around in Baltimore, in addition to the 2nd and the 5th that they’re forking over for him. There’ll be plenty to more to say on that later; for now, the Ravens have added a presence to the middle of a defense that was already starting to come on strong. That right there is something to celebrate. — Jake Louque

This is a wait and see trade for me. Roquan Smith is an All-Pro linebacker who will impact the defense and could turn this budding unit of late into an absolute monster. The areas the Ravens seem to get picked on the most were the middle of the field and whoever the third cornerback is. They’ve shored up the middle of the field; pairing Smith with Patrick Queen should prove to be dynamic in the run and blitz game. It’s a wait and see with how they’ll work the two of them in pass coverage but it could end up with a lot of turnovers.

A 2nd and a 5th aren’t cheap either, so it’s assumed that Smith will be looked at for a big extension, which could spell doom for some other guys. Lamar needs his and Marcus Peters is another big name who’s a free agent after this season, along with others. It will be curious to see where the future lies and if the Ravens have anything to supplement the offense midseason with Rashod Bateman’s injury more serious than originally thought. — Zach Canter

For more information, here is the rest of our Roquan Smith coverage: