Washington Commanders fans are currently debating whether the team should fork over the necessary draft capital and player assets for Roquan Smith, who requested a trade out from the Chicago Bears out of the blue Tuesday.
A trade of this magnitude doesn’t align with how Washington has gone about its business since Ron Rivera was hired two years ago.
The third-year head coach has waxed lyrical about roster continuity and promoting homegrown talent, but most of the NFL’s elite teams have stepped out of their respective comfort zones to bring in high-profile players via trade.
While it’s unlikely Washington strikes a trade for Smith, let’s highlight a couple reasons why passing on such a move would be a mistake.
2 reasons the Commanders should trade for Roquan Smith
2. Jamin Davis Isn’t a Sure Thing
The Commanders have expressed confidence in Jamin Davis despite the linebacker’s evident struggles adapting to the speed of the NFL. While the 2021 first-round pick has the athleticism to be a three-down starter, he’s shaping up to be a part-time player in Jack Del Rio’s defense for the second straight season.
Davis admittedly needed time to develop at Kentucky and he became a force in the loaded SEC once everything came together. That might prompt fans to want to keep the former Wildcat and see what he can become, but can Washington really afford waiting much longer to see if he comes around?
This is the NFL we’re talking about. Jobs are on the line and Washington’s defense has the potential to be a top-five unit. Why limit the group’s ceiling by holding out hope that Davis will eventually become starting material?
As a rookie, Davis’ 11 missed tackles were the third-most on the team, and the two players ahead of him had much more playing time. Just think about the optics eight months from now if Davis’ future with the team is uncertain after another inconsistent season and Smith lights it up for another team.
If Davis doesn’t make significant strides come the fall, Washington might consider cutting bait with him next offseason. By no means should Davis’ “potential” be the reason the front office doesn’t make a move for Smith.