A dark horse candidate to potentially trade for Chicago Bears linebacker and former Georgia football star Roquan Smith would have to be his “hometown” Atlanta Falcons.
Smith is playing out his fifth-year option out of Georgia this season. While he has not been a Pro Bowler in four years with Chicago, the former All-American and Butkus award winner is undoubtedly the best player on the Bears roster currently. With the new regime of general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus not valuing him, no wonder he wants out.
Other teams might be interested in trading for Smith, but let’s not rule out the Dirty Birds just yet.
Here is why Atlanta could be a dark horse candidate to trade for the former Georgia football star.
Atlanta Falcons a fit for Chicago Bears, former Georgia football LB Roquan Smith
Besides your own family and your alma mater, nobody is going to love a football player more than the guy who drafted him. That would be former Bears general manager and current Falcons senior personnel executive Ryan Pace. After failing in Chicago, Pace reunited with his former New Orleans Saints buddy Terry Fontenot as part of his Falcons’ front office. They have acquired Bears.
The Falcons may not be very good either, but these Dirty Birds are collecting bears faster than Zoo Atlanta did at its apex. They may not be menacing, but Pace and Fontenot do seem to share similar team-building philosophies, for better or worse. If it goes well, Mickey Loomis may regret letting this duo get out of the building in Metairie. If it fails, well, guess who is coming back home?
Look. Atlanta is probably little more than an extreme dark horse to trade for Smith at this juncture. They have their own linebacker mess on their hands with the used-to-be-good Deion Jones. Maybe the Bears and Falcons want to swap players? Of course, no trade is that seamless or clean in the NFL, but one thing is certain: Smith would be a better fit in Atlanta over what Jones is now.
How good of a fit would it be? Just look at how former Bears return specialist and current Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson reacted to the news. The man who wants to retire in Atlanta changed his profile to Smith in a Georgia uniform. Keep in mind that Patterson spent a season playing for Georgia’s bitter SEC East rival Tennessee up in Rocky Top before deciding to turn pro.
Ultimately, Patterson and Falcons fans do not control how Fontenot and Pace want to put tougher their personnel. However, the stars are aligning for the native son to be possibly coming home.
With a bad product going on the field again, signing a UGA star is one way to satisfy Falcons fans.