The Chicago Bears were busy at the trade deadline. While they traded a second-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for wideout Chase Claypool, they were sellers on the defensive side of the ball. Chicago traded star linebacker Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a second-round pick and fifth-round pick along with linebacker A.J. Klein, and also traded veteran pass rusher Robert Quinn to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth-round pick. 

Smith and Quinn were leaders on the Bears’ defense. When Quinn was dealt ahead of Smith, the linebacker even got emotional in a press conference. Little did he know that he would be gone within the week as well. 

The moves made by new general manager Ryan Poles weren’t beloved by everyone. Safety Eddie Jackson wondered aloud this week what the vision was for the Bears’ 2022 campaign. 

“Your thoughts start to go through your head like, ‘What are we playing for?'” Jackson said, via NFL.com. “Is their vision (in the front office) still the same as the players? We’re trying to make it to a Super Bowl, get to the playoffs, things like that. Like I said, I’m not upstairs. I get it. I understand it. But it just hits different.”

The Bears offense has taken steps forward ever since their bye week, but the defense now statistically ranks No. 16 in the league (344 yards of total offense allowed per game). The losses of Smith and Quinn only hurt this unit.

Apart from the defense losing two of its best playmakers, Jackson also said the younger players were caught off guard by the transactions. 

“Especially to the young guys, they’re looking at us like, ‘Yo, is this normal? (Does) this happen?'” said Jackson. “But this is the type of stuff that goes on. So we just got to rally around each other, and the older guys got to step up.”  

Poles’ goal in 2022 probably isn’t making the Super Bowl, but he is attempting to put this franchise in position to make major strides in the offseason.

“I value the locker room and what it means and the culture,” Poles said after the Quinn trade, via NFL.com. “And it sucks to mess with that, to be completely honest with you. But, again, my job is to do what’s best for this organization, not only now but in the future.”

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