Roquan Smith a Denver Broncos trade candidate with contract dispute?

Roquan Smith, Denver Broncos (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Roquan Smith, Denver Broncos (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

With reports of Chicago Bears’ All-Pro linebacker, Roquan Smith, not reporting to training camp, is he a trade target for the Denver Broncos?

At what is considered to be one of the weaker links for the Denver Broncos’ defense, an All-Pro linebacker could become available. Roquan Smith is reportedly holding out of training camp with the Chicago Bears due to contractual issues.

Per NFL’s Ian Rapoport, Smith has yet to receive an offer that he would remotely consider. That sounds like there is a major disparity in value between Roquan Smith and the Chicago Bears.

Starting inside linebacker from 2021, Alexander Johnson does not look like he will be back with the Denver Broncos. His former fellow at inside linebacker, Josey Jewell, was re-signed to the Denver Broncos on a two-year deal.

Jonas Griffith is returning to the Denver Broncos, someone this staff seems to think highly of, and free agent signee, Alex Singleton, is also expected to push for playing time. Hope and expectations for Griffith are high, but Singleton is a limited linebacker.

Josey Jewell played well the past couple of seasons, really well in 2021 before tearing his pectoral muscle. Jewell is the best linebacker out of the group, but adding an elite talent to the inside linebacker position could do wonders for the Denver Broncos.

Acquiring Roquan Smith would allow Baron Browning to fully transition into an edge rusher.

Roquan Smith had 163 total tackles last season, with three sacks and twelve tackles for loss. His worst statistical season came in 2019 when he missed four games, even then, he still tallied 101 total tackles.

Smith is an incredible football player, he was the one defender I was wishing for from the 2018 NFL Draft class. He was 1st team All-Pro in 2020 per Sporting News, and 2nd team All-Pro in 2020 & 2021 per the Associated Press.

There are few linebackers in the NFL that do a better job than Roquan Smith at his position, but none of them are available. Trading for Smith would not come cheap but the Denver Broncos do have some players that could become trade candidates due to salary demands or futures contracts expiring.

No interest between the organizations has been had, but I should expect George Paton, a man who is very active, to at least inquire. Adding Roquan Smith would give the Denver Broncos an elite player outside, inside and multiple in the secondary.

For a team in a win-now mode, trading for Roquan Smith could take this defense over the top.