Rapoport on Roquan Smith contract: 'It's way backloaded' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Another day and no contract news from Roquan Smith's end.
The Bears caught themselves in a mess when the linebacker announced his official request to be traded from the team. The team seemingly countered by removing him from the PUP list (physically unable to perform), allowing the opportunity for the organization to fine him for not participating in practice.
But, the situation doesn't seem to be making any progress, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport.
"I haven't sensed any movement," Rapoport said on The Pat McAfee show. "I know the team would like to sign him, but I haven't sensed any movement toward that."
The team has made their fair share of offers to Smith. But, in his note, he admitted the front office have not "negotiated in good faith" and their manner of negotiation has been the "take it or leave it" type style.
Smith is reportedly looking for money more than Shaquille Leonard, the Colts linebacker who inked a five-year, $98.5 million contract last summer. Speculation would suggest Smith's number is around $20 million per year for five years.
Ryan Poles mentioned the contract offers the Bears made for Smith include "record breaking" parts, but they're not guaranteed.
"It's like way back loaded," Rapoport said. "The last year has a high number and it makes the average high, but it's not real. There's a couple of things they'd asked him to do in the deal that he does not want to do."
It seems like the Bears are trying to scrape by with giving him a flimsy offer that would technically make him the highest paid linebacker in the league, but wouldn't have guaranteed repercussions or cap casualties to begin with.
There's no hiding behind $100 million contracts. Offer it, or find a trade for him.
It's never easy to hand out big contracts, especially as a new regime. But, if the situation comes to a trade, prepare for the team to look differently towards management going forward as Smith is inarguably the Bears' best player.
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