Roquan Smith Gets His Long-Awaited Extension — Ravens Are Paying Up

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Roquan Smith Gets His Long-Awaited Extension — Ravens Are Paying Up

Chicago Bears, NFL

We’ve spent a lot of time beating the drum around here for a Roquan Smith extension.

And he is finally getting it.

But not from the Chicago Bears. Nope. Instead, it is the Baltimore Ravens set to hand over piles and piles of cash to one of the NFL’s top linebackers.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport has the scoop:

On the surface, Smith is getting a five-year pact worth up to $100 million. But let’s be clear about this agreement between Roquan and the Ravens — this *ISN’T* necessarily the type of $100 million deal Smith appeared to be looking for from the Bears last offseason. Smith’s contract includes $45 million fully guaranteed and a total of $60 million in guaranteed money. It is still a market-setting deal in its own right. Rapoport calls it the first of its type in terms of off-ball linebackers getting at least $20 million. It is also notable because it is a deal in which Smith was representing himself. Perhaps that bodes well for Baltimore’s attempts to extend quarterback Lamar Jackson, a free-agent-to-be who is also representing himself in negotiations. At a minimum, the Roquan extension gives the Ravens flexibility to use the Franchise or Transition tag on Jackson if push comes to shove.

As for Smith, I’m happy he is getting his money. After being a Pro Bowl snub in his last two years with the Bears (despite getting down-ballot All-Pro votes in those seasons), Smith finally received Pro Bowl recognition in 2022. That nod came on the strength of a nine-game run in Baltimore in which he collected 86 tackles (51 solo), 7 tackles-for-loss, 1 QB Hit, and an interception. Extrapolate that over a full 17 games and we’re looking at 162 total tackles (96 solo) and 13 tackles-for-loss. The move back inside to a familiar linebacker spot in a 3-4 defense after being the weakside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme did wonders for Smith’s production.

In the end, it looks like the Bears-Ravens trade that sent Smith to Baltimore is still paying off for all parties. And that’s fine by me.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.