NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero, and Mike Garafolo put together a NFL Trade Deadline primer to kick off our Sunday, providing us ample perspective regarding who is available and which teams are buyers or sellers.
As you might expect, the Chicago Bears are listed among the teams positioned to be sellers. The Bears have already made one sell-off type of trade, moving pass rusher Robert Quinn to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a fourth-round pick. And perhaps there are others (we tossed around some names earlier in the week) who could be dealt in other trades that have eyes on the future. With a new regime running things at Halas Hall, I’m open to expecting the unexpected.
HOWEVER, I wasn’t totally expecting Bears linebacker Roquan Smith to be name-checked in a story by these heavy hitters.
From the story:
After Chicago traded Robert Quinn, eating most of his salary ($7.1 million) to get a fourth-round pick, all eyes turned to Chicago’s all-world linebacker. But Smith is different from Quinn. He is younger (25) and on a cheaper contract, and there remains the possibility he’s a part of the Bears’ future. Playing on the fifth-year option, Smith could be franchise tagged after this season, which seems like a strong possibility if no trade happens this week. But there is some interest and if Chicago wants to avoid the tag drama with a player who already has held in at training camp once, a trade would make sense to a few, select teams with a specific need.
If the Bears could get a legit return, then they should just do it. I have minimal interest in seeing them mess around with a tag on a player who already exercised a willignness to sit out. But what does a legit return look like for Ryan Poles? A first-round pick would be nice, but that doesn’t seem realistic. However, the Christian McCaffrey trade — which landed the Panthers 2023 second-, third-, and fourth-round picks *AND* a fifth-rounder in 2024 — feels like a fair blueprint. Especially if there is a team that views Roquan as the final piece of a championship puzzle. All things being equal, stud linebackers and star running backs feel like they should net the same return based on positional value in today’s game. And yet, it still wouldn’t make trading Smith any easier.
The NFL’s trade deadline is on Tuesday. And I’d bet on hearing more rumors between now and when deals must be finalized.