August 20 update: Smith has returned to practice, ending his holdout. That doesn’t necessarily mean his trade request is off the table but the linebacker is going to take the field to start the season.
A key cog in the Chicago Bears defense is actively searching for a new place to play.
On Tuesday morning, Bears linebacker Roquan Smith announced that he has requested a trade, via a tweet by NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport. The two-time All-Pro linebacker was the eighth overall draft pick back in 2018. During his tenure with the Bears, he’s racked up 524 tackles and 14 sacks. He’s also scored one defensive touchdown during his years in the league which came on a pick-6 of Joe Burrow last season.
He’s also been a consistent player in Chicago, playing 16 or more games every year except for the 2019 campaign. In that season he only appeared in 12 games after a couple of injuries, including a torn pectoral muscle that landed him on Injured Reserve to end the season.
No matter where the bruising linebacker is headed, if the Bears honor his trade request, will be getting a stellar player. He’s currently listed on DraftKings Sportsbook with solid odds to be named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Currently, he’s getting +4000 odds to win the award, which is tied for eighth-best odds in the league.