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Roquan Smith’s top three landing spots after All-Pro linebacker’s trade request

Roquan Smith
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears are looking at losing a two-time All-Pro linebacker after months of contract talks. Since April, Roquan Smith, who’s on the last year of his rookie contract, has been trying to negotiate a new deal with the Bears. This morning after feeling underappreciated, Smith asked for a trade. Let’s take a look at Roquan Smith’s best landing spots and why he would be a good fit in his new digs.

Sticking with the Chicago Bears

NFL: Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I know. he just asked to be traded from Chicago. But it was kind of half-hearted. He talked about how it’s always been his dream to be in a Bears uniform. Also, at the end of his statement, he made a comment about maybe the owners could make things right so he could stay.

“I haven’t had the chance to talk to the McCaskey family, and maybe they can salvage this, but as of right now I don’t see a path back to the organization I truly love.”

Roquan Smith in his trade request statement

He’s most comfortable there, but the Bears are in a full rebuild. They let a lot of talent go this off-season and have spent the lowest amount of money in the league on their team. So he may love it there, but it doesn’t mean it’s his best option.

Related: Chicago Bears to wear orange helmets for two games in 2022

Denver Broncos continue their high-stakes pursuit

NFL: Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos
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The Broncos would be a great fit for Smith. He would be the best linebacker on the team from day one. Also, Denver has made big moves this offseason to make themselves contenders. After acquiring Russell Wilson from the Seahawks, and on defense signing linebacker Randy Gregory, you can tell the Broncos are in win-now mode.

If Smith was brought on board, he would be paired with fellow linebackers Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory to make this defense scary for opposing quarterbacks. Which wouldn’t be a bad idea being the level of quarterback play in their conference is the best in the league.

Las Vegas Raiders push their chips in for Roquan Smith

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Sticking to the AFC West theme, the Raiders, who have the second-most cap space of any team in the NFL at $23.6 million, could make a run for Smith. The Raiders have already made big offseason moves in trading its 2022 first and second-round draft picks for Davante Adams.

The team also added pass-rusher Chandler Jones to pair with Maxx Crosby. Adding a sideline-to-sideline linebacker such as Smith could make the Raiders’ defense one of the more dangerous units in the league. Which goes back to how important it is to rush the passer in a division that includes Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes, and Wilson at quarterback.

Roquan Smith will be a defensive upgrade wherever he ends up. These spots could be great, as well as a few others around the league. We will keep you up to date on what comes of Smith’s situation.

Related: 2022 NFL defense rankings: Best NFL defenses entering season