LAKE FOREST, Ill. — As he was answering a question from a reporter Wednesday at Halas Hall, he noticed the reaction of another member of the media seated in the room.
“She can’t believe what she’s just seen,” Roquan Smith said. And neither did a lot of others when they checked their social media just before 3 p.m..
That’s when Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network tweeted that the Chicago Bears had traded one of their best players, defensive end Robert Quinn, to the Philadelphia Eagles. Later it was revealed that the Bears would receive a 2023 fourth round pick for the services of the 2021 Pro Bowler and second team All-Pro.
Smith seem to indicate that he had an idea what was going to happen, but when asked about the report, the linebacker became emotional.
“Yeah, man, it sucks,” Smith said when asked about the impact of Quinn’s time with the Bears.
He then looked up and paused for a few moments.
“I’m gonna take a second, if you don’t mind,” he said before putting his face in his shirt as he started to tear up.
After a brief pause, the linebacker started talking more about Quinn.
“I have a great deal of respect for that guy,” he said. “Damn….Crazy.”
Still emotional after that, Smith’s news conference then came to an end as he walked away from the podium. The Quinn news would become official about two hours later, with the trade going through pending a physical.
Smith played on the defense with Quinn during his two-and-a-half-year stay in Chicago when he set one of the Bears’ most prized defensive records. In 2021, he broke the team’s single-season sack mark with 18 1/2 in 16 games, beating Richard Dent’s record of 17 in the 1984 season.
Quinn finished his Bears career with 21 1/2 sacks, 31 quarterback hits, seven forced fumbles, and 77 tackles in 38 games.