Bears linebacker Roquan Smith has established himself as one of the best linebackers in the NFL. Unfortunately, he’s been vastly underrated — apparently both by analysts and his peers.
Smith has landed at No. 84 on NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2022, which marks his debut on the Top 100 list. But it feels far too low a ranking, especially considering Patriots quarterback Mac Jones came in right behind him.
Smith is coming off another impressive outing in 2021. Last season, Smith totaled 163 tackles (4th in NFL), 12 tackles-for-loss (4th among linebackers), 27 pass tackle stops (1st), had a 3.6 missed tackle percentage (2nd) and a 76.8 passer rating allowed (7th for LBs).
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 15, 2022
Unfortunately, Smith is currently locked in a contract dispute with the Bears, where he recently requested to be traded after revealing he feels like he’s being disrespected by the new regime.
It’s likely just a negotiating tactic by Smith, who previously expressed his desire to finish his career with the Bears. I guess we’ll see if it ends up working out for him.
New general manager Ryan Poles said his intentions remain to sign Smith to an extension, although he’s going to ultimately do what’s best for the team.