There was large information within the NFL on Tuesday morning when Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith publicly requested a commerce, and it isn’t a stretch to recommend that followers of the opposite 31 groups — definitely together with the Miami Dolphins — instantly started desirous about the the concept of Smith becoming a member of their crew.
Smith is a four-year starter within the NFL, was named as second-team AP All-Professional in 2021 and he turned solely 25 in April, so he is a sizzling commodity who may make loads of defenses higher.
His addition would give the Dolphins, for instance, yet one more proficient younger starter in a protection that already contains rising stars like Jevon Holland and Christian Wilkins, to not point out one of many prime cornerbacks within the league.
SMITH COULD BE MISSING PIECE ON DOLPHINS DEFENSE
Smith is a multi-talented inside linebacker who makes performs everywhere in the discipline — he is the fourth participant this millennium with no less than 500 tackles, 10 sacks and 5 interceptions in his first 4 seasons, together with Shaquille Leonard (beforehand often known as Darius), Lavonte David and Corridor of Famer Brian Urlacher.
In his public assertion, by way of NFL Community reporter Ian Rapoport, Smith expressed his dissatisfaction with negotiations on a brand new contract with the Bears.
Smith is headed into the ultimate 12 months of the rookie contract — the Bears picked up the fifth-year possibility — he signed after being the eighth total choose within the 2018 draft and is scheduled to make $9.75 million in 2022.
It is most likely protected to imagine he is searching for a a lot larger wage for lots of years.
For comparability functions, Leonard is the highest-paid off-the-ball linebacker within the NFL (per overthecap.com) with an annual common of $19.7 million and $33 million absolutely assured on the extension he signed in August 2021.
Past the commerce compensation that will be required to land Smith, making him match below the wage cap will probably be one other consideration for potential suitors.
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And that is the place it will get tough for the Dolphins.
Sure, there’s all the time strategies to create room to herald a proficient participant (see Rams, Los Angeles), the Dolphins already should do some main cap massaging in 2023 as a result of they’re already $2.4 million over for subsequent season, in line with overthecap.com.
Sure, 25-year-old All-Professional linebackers do not turn out to be out there day by day, however …
Then there’s the difficulty of what it might take to pry Smith away from the Bears, and one would suppose a first-round choose plus different property can be the place to begin — and, no, Smith for Preston Williams and Lynn Bowden, who the Dolphins are shopping, would not get it done.
Lastly, there’s this problem, and that is the Bears, and whether or not they will acquiesce to their star’s demand.
SMITH TRADE REQUEST DEJA VU FOR DOLPHINS
The Dolphins have some current expertise with this, because it was somewhat greater than a 12 months in the past that they went by way of the identical factor with Xavien Howard.
In the end, the Dolphins recognized Howard’s ability and his importance to the defense, adjusted his contract for 2021 with a promise to revisit it this offseason, then followed through on their promise with a brand-new extension.
And Howard had just lately turned 28 presently of his commerce demand, not 25 like Smith. Ultimately, one would suppose the Bears would ensure that to maintain their star linebacker.
However stranger issues have occurred, truly occur on a regular basis within the NFL.
If the Bears finally do resolve to commerce him, the Dolphins can be loopy to not have an interest — although it might be an awfully tough feat to tug off.