Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles is tearing apart the team’s core as he dives head first into the rebuild.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Bears have traded star linebacker Roquan Smith in exchange for a second-round pick along with a fifth-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.

This move comes five days after Poles dealt Pro Bowl edge rusher Robert Quinn to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth rounder in 2023.

NFL Insider Jordan Schultz reports that Poles was unwilling to risk a potential hold out from Smith as his deal expires at the end of the season. Chicago would have been afforded the opportunity to place the franchise tag on Smith, though he has been in pursuit of a long-term contract.

Poles’ quest to acquire draft capital has been successful thus far. Although Bears fans hate to see a player like Smith walk out of the door, it’s better that the Bears were able to land a healthy return, especially considering that Smith’s plan was to test the waters in free agency this offseason.

Smith started in 67 of his 69 games in his four-plus seasons with the Bears. He recorded 607 tackles with 16.5 sacks and 47 tackles for a loss in his time with Chicago. The two-time All-Pro arrives in Baltimore as the NFL’s current leader in tackles with 83.

Poles is cleaning house ahead of Tuesday’s NFL’s trade deadline set to expire at 3pm CT. As he continues to usher in a new era, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Poles make another move or two involving a veteran on an expiring contract while he continues to load up for next year’s draft.

Featured image via Jamie Sabau – USA TODAY Sports

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