OWINGS MILLS, MD – While they’ve not exactly shocked people on the field this season, the Bears certainly did before the trade deadline thanks to three major trades.

It wasn’t only fans who were caught off guard by the deals but even the players themselves, including the most surprising athlete who was traded this week.

Roquan Smith is one of the best young linebackers in football, yet without a long-term contract, the Bears traded him to the Ravens for a second and fifth round pick in this spring’s draft.

So wearing his new No. 18 jersey at his news conference his new team’s headquarters in Owings Mills, Maryland, Smith was asked about how he felt when the trade went down.

“Initially I was shocked,” said the linebacker. “But I’m excited to be here. Good group of guys, guys that’s contending for a title, and that’s what I’m in the game to play for – playing for a title, so I’m excited.”

Losing Smith is a big blow since he was the team’s first round pick in 2018 and their most consistently productive player over the last four-and-a-half years. He led the Bears in tackles in each of the last four seasons and was the NFL’s leader in stops so far this season with 83

Even though he didn’t have a long-term deal with the Bears in place, had made a trade demand earlier in training camp when negotiations stalled, Smith was still surprised when he was dealt away this week.

“Honestly, no,” said Smith when asked if he expected to be traded. “Didn’t plan to but, you know, life happens at times and I got traded.”