We all knew the Roquan Smith contract situation with the Bears wasn’t good. It’s not exactly ideal when your star linebacker is “holding in” at training camp. But it seems like the situation was worse than any of us imagined.
Smith has formally requested a trade from the Bears in a detailed note shared by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Smith, a two-time All-Pro, has been one of the best linebackers in the NFL over the last two years. If there’s anyone who’s earned a contract extension, it’s Smith. So it’s ludicrous that it’s even come to this point in August.
While Smith once again expressed his desire to finish his career in Chicago, he said “the new front office regime doesn’t value me here.”
It’s a shot at first-time general manager Ryan Poles, who told the media earlier this offseason that he wanted to get Smith locked down before the start of the regular season. According to Smith, he’s wanted to get a deal done since April.
The trade request is clearly a negotiating tactic by Smith to put the pressure on Poles to work towards a deal that would benefit both sides. Hey, it worked for Deebo Samuel in San Francisco. But when the Bears’ best player is saying the front office doesn’t value him or isn’t negotiating “in good faith,” it doesn’t look good to the rest of the locker room.
Smith previously shared that he doesn’t have an agent, so it’s just him in contract negotiations. As Smith ramped things up with a formal trade request, it’s time for him to get an agent with the hope of getting a deal done with the Bears.
Just because Smith requested a trade doesn’t mean that he’s done in Chicago. We’ve got to wait to see how this plays out. And it’s possible he actually signs an extension.
Still, however you slice it, the Bears’ star linebacker requesting a trade is a bad look for Poles. But you know what would be worse? Actually trading Smith rather than finding a way to get a deal done.
Your move, Poles.