The Miami Dolphins would be smart to make a phone call for linebacker Roquan Smith who has asked for a trade from the Bears.
Smith was drafted in the 2018 NFL Draft, 8th overall. A top prospect coming out of Georgia, Smith has lived up to the hype and the Dolphins could use another interior linebacker that could add to a defense that is already pretty good.
In his four years with the Bears, Smith has started all but two games he has played in. He missed four games in 2019. In his career so far, Smith has five interceptions and 524 combined tackles, and 14 sacks.
Smith wants a new contract from the Bears and it was reported that the front office gave him a take it or leave it deal that he has no intention of signing.
The Dolphins are no stranger to this kind of situation. In fact, it was one year ago this week that the Dolphins extended Xavien Howard with a new contract after a previous public request for a trade. Miami didn’t bite on the trade and Chicago shouldn’t either.
Smith is a leader on the field and in the locker room. He is equally competent in pass coverage and run-stopping ability. There was talk that Miami may have had an interest in Smith during the draft but Smith was taken four selections before the Dolphins took Minkah Fitzpatrick.
For Miami, the problem with getting a deal done would likely be the contract Smith wants as Miami has shelled out premium money for Terron Armstead, Tyreek Hill, and Howard a year ago. Miami has cap space but at some point, that will be eaten up by the bigger contracts. That being said, the cap is expected to balloon over the next couple of years with new money coming into the league from television broadcasting deals, specifically NFL Sunday Ticket.
Smith would likely take the place of Elandon Roberts who is good but is not on the same level as Smith. Putting Smith and Jerome Baker in the middle would give Miami one of the best middle linebacker tandems in the last 20 years.
It is fun to speculate but we have to also realize that 30 other teams are also watching this play out and some, like the Patriots, are always willing to shell out draft capital for linebackers.
Will Miami have an interest? Hard to say but they should, just like every other NFL team that can use LB help. Will they make a trade? That I believe would be a no. I just don’t see Miami making a big move like this after the off-season they had earlier. I think they try and develop their own guys.