Former Bears linebacker Roquan Smith has 100 million new reasons to be excited.
Not only is Smith gearing up for the Baltimore Ravens’ Wild Card Round matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, but Smith made NFL history on Tuesday.
Saint Omni reports that the Ravens and Smith have agreed in principle to make Smith the highest paid off-ball linebacker in NFL history. It is reported that his new deal will span five years for $100 million, including $60 million in guarantees.
Per Saint Omni, The #Ravens agree in principle with All-Pro LB Roquan Smith — now the highest paid at his position in NFL history with a 5-yr, $100M deal. $45M fully guaranteed & $60M in total guarantees. Huge. The 1st off-ball LB to get $20M per year. Roquan represented himself. pic.twitter.com/KCy7t26SpZ— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 10, 2023
What makes this even more impressive is that Smith negotiated this deal by himself.
The Bears dealt Smith to the Ravens ahead of the NFL’s trade deadline. In return, Baltimore sent Chicago its second and fifth-round picks in the 2023 draft. Chicago knew the value Smith would command in the 2023 offseason. General manager Ryan Poles ultimately decided to pocket a couple of draft picks before inevitably parting ways with Smith after the season.
The #Ravens traded for #Bears LB Roquan Smith on Oct. 31st.— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 31, 2022
Their defense completely turned around from one of the worst in the NFL to one of the best.
His addition has been one of the most impactful in-season trades in recent memory. pic.twitter.com/z5zyPLAhpF
Smith is a two-time All-Pro and was just named to his first Pro Bowl in 2022. One of the best inside linebackers in football, Smith has set the market at his position leading into the 2023 offseason.
Featured image via Daniel Bartel – USA TODAY Sports