Ryan Poles: Bears, Roquan Smith ‘couldn’t find common ground’ on contract extension

Bears general manager Ryan Poles met with the media following a busy couple of days ahead of the NFL trade deadline, which included trading away star linebacker Roquan Smith.

Earlier this summer, Poles expressed his desire to keep Smith in Chicago for the long-term. But, amid a very public contract dispute, it always felt unlikely that both sides would eventually agree on Smith’s value.

Poles admitted that he thought Smith was going to a defensive staple for this organization, which made the move difficult.

“There’s part of me that’s bummed because this is a guy that I thought was going to be here for a long time,” Poles said Tuesday.

Poles said the Bears “couldn’t find common ground” on a contract extension with Smith. Poles felt like it was “highly unlikely” that both sides would eventually find that common ground.

Poles said the Bears offered their final deal before the start of the season — which was before both sides mutually decided to halt negotiation talks.

That led to Chicago dealing Smith to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for 2023 second- and fifth-round picks, as well as linebacker A.J. Klein.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire