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AP Source: Bears agree to trade LB Roquan Smith to Ravens | WGN 720 Radio

OWINGS MILLS, Mo. (AP) — The Chicago Bears agreed to trade linebacker Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced.

Smith, the NFL’s leading tackler this season, joins a Baltimore team that has won two straight and leads the AFC North.

The Ravens have struggled defensively this season, but have improved in that area and now add a second-team All-Pro to their linebacker group.

It’s the Bears’ second major trade involving a defensive player in less than a week. On Wednesday, they dealt three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Robert Quinn to Philadelphia for a 2023 fourth-round pick.

Smith was on the podium addressing reporters when reports of the Quinn trade broke. He became emotional and interrupted the lesson.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh held his usual weekly press conference on Monday — shortly before news of the Smith trade broke. He was asked if he expected a move before Tuesday’s trade deadline.

“If I did, the cat would be out of the bag,” he said.

Smith, 25, has 83 tackles and 2 1/2 sacks this season. Chicago’s 2018 first-round pick has 16 1/2 sacks in his career.

With his contract expiring, rookie Smith was hoping to sign a new deal. He participated in voluntary and mandatory workouts in the offseason, but with negotiations with the Bears deadlocked, things took a heated turn once training camp began.

Smith, who does not have an agent, decided to “hold out” – attend meetings and practices without participating in drills. Tensions flared when he made a trade request.

He accused CEO Ryan Poles of bad faith.

Smith eventually lifted his suspension and practiced for the first time on August 20.

He now joins the Ravens, who have led by double figures in every game this season and would have had an even better record if not for some pretty bad fourth quarter setbacks.

Ravens guard Justin Houston already has six sacks on the season. Linebacker Odafe Oweh and defensive end Calais Campbell are also threats to rush — and the Ravens added linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul in late September.


AP sports writer Andrew Seligman contributed to this report.


More on AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL


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