Robert Quinn, GONE!, Roquan Smith, GONE! Both Quinn and Smith were quality players of the Chicago Bears organization yet they were both shipped out for draft picks during this trade deadline, with Bears GM Ryan Poles masterminding both deals. In this article I am going to analyze both of these big trades and I am going to be talking about the future of other premier Bears players and what Bears fans should expect from the team going forward. My name is Vihang Thakkar and I invite you to keep reading this article on NFCNorthReport.
Robert Quinn was a star defensive end for the Bears last year, accumulating eighteen and a half sacks. Similarly, Smith was a defensive stalwart for the team as well, occupying the team’s starting inside linebacker spot and amassing the fifth most tackles in the NFL last year, 163. Nonetheless, both defensive stars for the Bears were shipping out.
Quinn’s trade consisted of the Bears trading Quinn and the rest of his five-year, seventy million dollar contract to the currently undefeated Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a fourth round pick. Although many were annoyed by the trade, I believe that the trade was fair for both teams. First, the Eagles get a former star defensive end and bolster pretty much the only part of their team that needs help. They do take his contract but it isn’t horribly big and the upside that Quinn showed in 2021 may resurface during the remainder of the season. The Bears also got a good deal. Quinn is older than thirty, on the back side of one of his career bests, and having a bad year so far. The Bears could have asked for more but for a diminishing, old defensive end a fourth round pick is worth it. The Bears get an A- grade and the Eagles get an A grade.
Similarly, Roquan Smith’s trade to the Baltimore Ravens has also come to a dismay at Bears fans. Yet, is there a reason to like the trade? I believe so, yes. The Bears got linebacker AJ Klein, a second round pick, and a fifth round pick while the Ravens got the former Georgia standout in Smith. Although the Bears could have tried for a first, they got a grade of B+ because, although they got rid of one of the best linebackers in the league, they got decent draft compensation. Furthermore, the Bears wouldn’t have paid Smith the twenty million dollar yearly contract that he wanted. It wouldn’t have made sense for a team needing talent everywhere to invest in a linebacker, even though he’s easily one of the best. It does suck that they got rid of a fan favorite star. On the flipside, the Ravens get an A-. They made sure that they improved although it wasn’t on the offensive side where Lamar wanted a receiver. Nonetheless, they got a star linebacker to help bolster their defense which is already good but tends to cough up leads, an issue that Smith will help with.
Moving on, what’s the direction for the future? The Bears traded two of their best players so one would think a long rebuild but they still kept players like Eddie Jackson and David Montgomery, two other standouts for the organization. So, what are the Bears thinking? To start off, I think Montgomery is gone during the offseason. Sophomore running back Khalil Herbert has held his own and even got a greater yards per carry than Montgomery and so, for a younger player, he’s already proved his worth. Montgomery is still a great player but the Bears wouldn’t shell out money for the most expendable position in the NFL when there are so many other holes to fill. Eddie Jackson however won’t be traded. He’s just been made permanent captain and it’s been seen that, regardless of the moves the Bears do, he’s been a mainstay. For example, Trubisky, Hicks, and Mack were all traded yet Jackson stayed. Both Smith and Quinn were traded, yet he stayed. Jackson also offers value as a leader and mentor to the other three young defensive backs on the team, newly drafted Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker as well as Jaylon Johnson.
To end this off, I want to talk about the direction of the Bears. I believe that the Bears will be in a short rebuild. The trades show that they want to build their draft arsenal and get quality players then but also, their trade for Claypool doesn’t make sense unless they want to contend quickly. Additionally the no trades for Jackson and Montgomery highlight a similar desire (although I believe Montgomery will be gone). They will target receivers, the offensive line, and the entire defense apart from defensive backs during the draft as well as with the insane amount of money for free agency.