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Bears trading LB Roquan Smith to Ravens for draft picks

The Baltimore Ravens added a playmaker to the defense ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Ravens acquired linebacker Roquan Smith from the Chicago Bears for 2023 second- and fifth-round draft picks and LB A.J. Klein, per a source informed of the deal.

Smith brings range to the Ravens' second level as a two-time second-team All-Pro. The former No. 8 overall pick in 2018 generated 607 tackles and seven interceptions in 69 games with the Bears.

The Ravens add the tackling machine to shore up a defense that currently ranks 28th in yards allowed and 20th in points allowed.

Smith was a candidate to be dealt this season after he requested a trade in August and held in during training camp, frustrated at the lack of an acceptable long-term contract offer from the Bears. Smith promised his contract situation wouldn't affect his play. It hasn't. Through eight games, the 25-year-old leads the NFL with 83 tackles, has 2.5 sacks, four tackles for loss and two interceptions.

Now we'll see if the Ravens, who are likely holding the franchise tag for Lamar Jackson, pay big money to keep Smith in Baltimore long-term.

The Bears continue to sell assets ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline. The Smith deal follows last week's trade of veteran edge rusher Robert Quinn to Philadelphia. As new GM Ryan Poles continues the rebuild, he's smartly stockpiled picks for players who weren't likely in his long-term plans.

In the past week, Poles has added second-, fourth- and fifth-round picks to his team's draft stable. Chicago currently has nine draft picks in the 2023 draft to go along with more than $100 million in salary cap space. Bears fans were frustrated by the lack of moves from Poles when he took over this offseason. With added draft picks and cap space, Chicago is headed for a pivotal 2023 spring in Poles' rebuild.

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