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Roquan Smith: Focused on Ravens playbook, not contract right now

Mike Florio and Chris Simms share their thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens acquiring Roquan Smith, and discuss how Smith can elevate the Ravens' defense into a special unit.

Linebacker Roquan Smith started on the path to leaving the Bears when he and the team could not find common ground on a contract extension and that path ended earlier this week when he was traded to the Ravens for a pair of draft picks and linebacker A.J. Klein.

One of those picks was a second-rounder and a common reaction to the news was that the Ravens would not have given up such a high pick without the intention of signing Smith to a long-term deal. That may happen, but Smith said that his first order of business is going to be learning the team’s playbook ahead of their Monday night date with the Saints.

“I’m not really focused on that right now,” Smith said, via Ryan Mink of the team’s website. “Everything has happened really, really quickly, so I’m just trying to focus on honing in on this playbook right now, and getting to that once I get to it.”

Smith’s unlikely to create much momentum toward a new deal without having a good handle of the defense, so the approach is likely a wise one for him to take upon his arrival in Baltimore. Should contract talks linger into the offseason, the Ravens will have a couple of negotiations on their hands.