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It’s official: Ravens trade for linebacker Roquan Smith

Sep 25, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears inside linebacker Roquan Smith (58) runs with the ball after an interception in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday announced their trade for linebacker Roquan Smith from the Chicago Bears in exchange for linebacker A.J. Klein and draft picks.

While the Ravens did not disclose the picks, the Bears also announced the deal and are getting second- and fifth-round draft picks in 2023.

The Bears also posted a thank you to Smith on Twitter.

Smith, 25, is a two-time second-team All-Pro with the Bears and was drafted eighth overall out of Georgia in 2018. He represents an upgrade in the middle of the 3-4 defense in Baltimore, which now stacks three first-rounders at the position in Patrick Queen (2020, 28th overall), Odafe Oweh (2021, 31st) along with proven veterans Justin Houston and Jason Pierre-Paul at the fourth LB spot.

Klein, 31, appeared in just two games (one start) this season for the Ravens. He had five tackles, including one for loss. He has 15.5 career sacks and 454 tackles in 136 games (81 starts) for four teams, including the Carolina Panthers (2013-16), who drafted him in the fifth round of the 2013 draft.

The Ravens are atop the AFC North at 5-3, but defensive standards are not being met.

They are 32nd in defensive yards per play — 5.98-yard average — and passing yards per game (278.9) but first in the NFL against the run (84.5 yards per game).

The league-leader in tackles at 83, according the NFL’s official statistics, Smith is in the final year of his rookie contract. Negotiations between Poles and Smith’s representatives became contentious before training camp, when he demanded a trade.

Smith was fifth in the NFL in total tackles last season (career-high 163). He has 608 total tackles and 14.5 sacks in 69 career games.

–Field Level Media