Ravens Set to Debut Star Linebacker on MNF

The Baltimore Ravens made one of the most aggressive moves of the trade deadline when they acquired Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith, and they won't wait long to put the young star to work. The fifth-year player is set to appear in tonight's Monday Night Football matchup against the New Orleans Saints.
The Ravens gave up a 2023 second-round pick, a 2023 fifth-round pick, and linebacker A.J. Klein to acquire Smith. He should slot in as one of their starting inside linebackers immediately.

Smith's departure from the Bears is bittersweet but appeared all but inevitable. Set to hit unrestricted free agency following this season, Smith was clearly not a part of the struggling team's long-term plans. He joins a 5-3 Ravens squad that leads its division and has a great chance of competing for a playoff spot. If he plays well, he could earn a contract that makes him one of the league's highest-paid off-ball linebackers.

Smith was the Bears' eighth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and started 67 games for the team, tallying 607 total tackles, 16.5 sacks, and seven interceptions. He notched a pair of second-team All-Pros in 2020 and 2021, but his best season was arguably his first: he was the leading tackler for a Bears team that finished 12-4 and ranked first in points allowed.

Photo Credit: © Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports