“The new front office regime doesn’t value me here,” Smith wrote in a lengthy statement provided by NFL Network insider Ian Rapport. “They have refused to negotiate in good faith, every step of this journey being ‘take it or leave it’. The deal sent to me is one that would be bad for me, and for the entire LB market if I did. It’s signed I’ve been trying to do something that’s appropriate since April, but their focus has been on trying to take advantage of me.
“I’ve wanted to be a Bear for my entire career, help this team get a [Super Bowl] back in our city. However, they left me with no choice but to request a trade that would allow me to do so.” Allowing the organization to play for what is really valuable is what I bring to the table.”
Will the Bears consider Smith’s trade in what looks like a clear rebuild under the new leadership of head coach Matt Eberfluss and general manager Ryan Poles? This offseason, Chicago allowed Alan Robinson to move into free agency, trade Khalil Mack and cut Danny Trevathan, among other veteran contributors. Could Smith have chased those guys out the door?
Roquan Smith requests trade from Chicago Bears
The linebacker wrote that “the new front office regime doesn’t value me here,” adding that Smith had been trying to work on the expansion since April.
“He refused to negotiate in good faith,” Smith wrote. “Every step of this journey has been ‘take it or leave it’. The deal sent to me is one that would be bad for me and the whole LB market if I signed it.”
Chicago general manager Ryan Poles addressed Smith’s trade request Tuesday morning after the team’s practice at Soldier Field. Poles said he intends still to work toward signing Smith for an extension and that the front office is “doing everything we can to make it happen.”
“I’ll double down on what I’ve said before – my feelings for Rocan haven’t changed at all,” Poles said. “I think he’s a really good football player. I love the kid. I love what he’s done on the field, which really frustrates me about where we are now. I thought we’d be in a better position.” Be completely honest with yourself.
Smith, selected by the Bears with the eighth pick in the first round of the 2018 draft out of Georgia, has been named a Second Team All-Pro in each of the past two seasons. In 2020, he finished second in the NFL with 96 singles tackles and second with 18 tackles-for-loss, the most by a Bears player since Hall of Fame middle linebacker Brian Urlaker’s 19 in 2002 .
Last season, Smith recorded a career-high 163 tackles with 12 tackles-for-loss, 3.0 sacks and one interception, in which he returned 53 yards for a touchdown. He has made at least 100 tackles in each of his four seasons, making him the first Bears player to achieve that feat in any four-year span, as Lance Briggs did in six consecutive seasons from 2004–09 .
Smith participated in the entire offseason event. But he has been on the Physically Disabled Performance (PUP) list since the start of the training camp.
Will the Chicago Bears trade linebacker Roquan Smith?
The key would be looking for a team that has the draft capital, the willingness to participate with said draft capital, and also the financial capital to trade such a blockbuster a few weeks before the start of the 2022 regular season.
Let’s take a look at some of the top potential trade candidates for Roquan Smith.
A Second Team All-Pro in each of the past two seasons, Smith is coming out of the 2021 campaign in which he made 163 combined tackles, 12 for losses, three sacks, one interception and three passes defended. He has made over 100 combined tackles in each of his four years in the league.
Suffice it to say: He’s a valuable business target, especially for teams with cap space and aspirations to run the Super Bowl this season. (It’s also worth noting that Bears are in dire need of receivers.)
With that, The Sporting News looks at potential trade spots for the fifth-year linebacker
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