Should the LA Chargers trade for Bears' LB Roquan Smith?

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages

The LA Chargers have ties to the Chicago Bears that naturally put them in any trade conversations surrounding a Bears player. Brandon Staley previously spent time with the Bears and the Bolts already did business with Chicago earlier this year, trading for All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack.

Another big-name defensive player has hit the trade market for the Bears. Linebacker Roquan Smith has requested a trade from the Bears as he and the franchise could not come to terms on a new contract past the 2022 season.

That instantly made some Chargers fans excited. Outside of the Bolts having a connection with the Bears, the team also has a big need at the linebacker position. It is arguably the weakest position on the entire roster and Smith would fix that problem real quick.

Smith is one of the best young linebackers in the game with back-to-back Second-Team All-Pro selections in the last two years. At only 25 years old, Smith is in his athletic prime and would push the Chargers' defense over the top to be one of the best in the league.

After seeing the other Los Angeles team be aggressive, some fans want to see the Bolts be aggressive for Smith. Hyped fans aside, it raises the question: should the Chargers trade for Bears' linebacker Roquan Smith?

No, the LA Chargers should not (and will not) trade for Roquan Smith.

On paper there is no denying the kind of impact that Smith would have on this defense. It would give the Chargers an elite player at every level of the defense and could push the team over the top from a defensive standpoint.

There is a lot more to managing a football team than just what the team looks like on paper. This is not Madden and the team has a lot of things to consider that simply make this trade unrealistic.

First of all, linebacker is the least important position in Brandon Staley's defense. While Smith is a really good player, based on how the Chargers have operated with Staley, they likely have no interest in trading capital for him and signing him to a contract extension. If they did not want to pay Kyzir White $3 million they are not going to want to pay Smith over $10 million.

That is not even considering the fact that the Chargers have other contract situations to figure out. The team is currently in negotiations with Derwin James and will probably end up extending Justin Herbert next summer. Not only would it be a bad look to trade and extend Smith while James' situation is happening, but it would put the team in a serious financial pinch that they probably cannot logistically maneuver through.

And if Smith does not want to play for the Bears without an extension, why would he want to play for the Chargers without one? The chances of the Bolts trading a second and fourth-round pick, for example, for Smith to play just one year in LA and then leave is extremely small.

Both Smith and the Bears want to do business with a team that actually wants to extend him, as Smith gets his money and the Bears get more in return for a team that values him as a multi-year addition, not just a one-year rental.

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All in all, as awesome as it would be to see Smith in this defense, it simply does not make sense for the Chargers.