Report: Ex-Bear Roquan Smith gets highest-paid LB deal with Ravens

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Report: Roquan Smith, Ravens agree to historic deal originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Roquan Smith and the Baltimore Ravens agreed to terms on Tuesday for a five-year, $100 million deal with $60 million in total guaranteed money, first reported by Ian Rapoport.

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Smith has played tremendously for the Ravens since the Bears traded him just before the NFL trade deadline at the beginning of November.

The once-Bears linebacker earned his first Pro Bowl nod this season and helped the Ravens keep opponents under 15 points per game in the back half of their season – the second-best mark in the NFL.

He's added two sacks, one interception and 86 combined tackles since joining the Ravens.

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Back in the summer, Smith executed a "hold-in" with the Bears as he awaited contract negotiations between him and the team. Smith does not have an agent, so his negotiations involved him in the discussions.

After some time without a deal being done, he requested a trade from the Bears. He claimed the organization did not negotiate "in good faith" with him and wished upon the team for better treatment.

By the time the regular season started, Smith announced he would play the 2022-23 season under his rookie contract, which was set to earn him ~$9 million this season.

However, once the trade deadline arrived, the Bears shipped him to the Ravens for a second- and fifth-round draft pick in the upcoming draft, and linebacker A.J. Klein.

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Smith was stunned by the news, saying "I didn't plan to get traded," once he arrived in Baltimore.

However, in the end, the trade worked for both parties. The Bears avoided paying Smith a contract they weren't ready to offer and added ammunition to their draft capital.

As for Smith, he finally received the contract he felt he deserved, making him the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL today.

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