Former Georgia Bulldog and Montezuma, Ga. native Roquan Smith has requested to be traded from the Chicago Bears. Smith is playing on his fifth-year option from his rookie contract and he is scheduled to be a free agent following the 2022 season.
Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson played with Smith while he was with the Bears in 2019 and 2020, and he weighed in on Smith’s announcement he was seeking a trade.
The Atlanta Falcons have made a habit of signing former Chicago Bears over the last 12 months, but trading for Smith might not be in the cards despite a shout out from one of their star players.
The Falcons would already like to move on from one high-priced linebacker in Deion Jones who has the highest cap hit on the team at $20 million according to Spotrac. The Falcons would have to add another $5.3 million in dead-cap money to their NFL-leading $63.3 million if they moved Jones AND someone took on his entire $9.64 million in base salary and $4.6 million roster bonus.
That’s not going to happen after a subpar season and dealing with offseason surgery.
The Falcons could be in contention following the 2022 season when they get out of cap hell following the trades of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. The Falcons are paying the penalty this year for those moves in terms of dead-cap money, but will have a full allocation of resources heading into the 2023 free agency season.
However, Atlanta just invested a second-round pick in linebacker Troy Andersen, and the early returns have been good. They’re unlikely to make an investment of $10+ million per season to Smith in what is perceived as a devalued position.
The Falcons will have plenty of money to make several splash signings in 2023, but Smith doesn’t make sense for them now… or next season.