“My career is not going downhill.”

The post Roquan Smith grateful for Bears trade: ‘My career isn’t slowing down’ appeared first on NBC Sports Chicago

Following Sunday’s 37-3 loss by the Seattle Seahawks to the Baltimore Ravens, Roquan Smith looks back at his trade from Chicago with Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.

A year after the fact, how does Smith feel about it now?

“Man, it’s crazy to think back to when I first sold it,” Smith told Brier. “It was bittersweet for me because I knew Chicago and really knew it. But if I stayed there, really, [I] They couldn’t compete for a title any time soon. And then coming here, it took me about two weeks to realize how stacked this team is, and how many good people there are in this team and how they bring out the best. People.

“And when I think about it in terms of having the opportunity to compete year in and year out with the talent we have. Man, it makes me so happy, knowing my career isn’t going to go down by itself, it’s just a feeling of playing where I’m really not competing.”

Oh Smith didn’t hold that back.

Smith and the Bears They had a major rejection in the summer of 2022. Smith, in turn, was hoping to receive an extension from his hometown team, which selected him with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

But after several negotiations — without an agent — among the Bears, Smith requested a trade. In a statement, the Bears said they “did not negotiate in good faith.” He said signing the deal the Bears sent him would be bad for himself and the NFL linebacker market in general.

Ian Rapoport reported that the Bears’ later offer for Smith included back-loaded money and moves. It doesn’t fit a player who has followed and led the Bears’ defense since the offer came in; The same linebacker who was worthy of carrying the torch of Chicago’s greatest linebackers.

In turn, the Bears traded Smith to the Ravens at the 2022 NFL trade deadline. In return, they received the future draft capital. The trade disappointed Smith.

“I didn’t think so. [get traded]After Smith’s first practice in Baltimore, you know, sometimes life happens and trades happen. “I was nervous about it at first. But I’m excited to be here. A good team that’s competing for a title, and that’s why I’m in the game — playing for a title.”

It took time for Smith to play for a new team. The Chicago Bears he knew in his youth — a place where linebackers sit on pedestals. Or, should be, at least.

But Smith quickly adjusted to his new surroundings. In fact, he appreciates the new team even more.

“Honestly, man, being a Raven means the world to me,” Smith said. “And how they’ve come and found me when I’ve been in Chicago and the love they’ve shown me throughout my time here, I think it’s going to grow even more. So when I think about it from that perspective, I take pride in playing until the whistle, playing every game to the best of my ability. But just being here, with all the legends before me, like Ed, there’s something that makes you go even further [Reed]Ray [Lewis]Bart [Scott] …

Smith is leading the league’s best defense this season, allowing an impressively low 13.8 points per game this season. And Smith? He is doing well.

Smith has the fourth-most tackles in the NFL this season with 87 through nine weeks. Teammate Patrick Quinn also has 75 tackles — 15th most in the NFL.

At first, it’s safe to say Smith was upset about being traded from the Bears. But now he’s thriving better than he was with the Bears. He is definitely happier.

“When I think about it, man, it makes me proud to be playing behind such a storied tradition. And the people who were good before [me], man. How you set the standard for being a Raven. I believe he’s playing lights out on the defensive side of the ball…not giving the offense time to breathe. Simplify them. And when they come up for breath, you bring them back down. That’s what it feels like to be a crow.”

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