Tuesday, January 31 2023

Linebacker Roquan Smith has requested a trade from the Chicago Bears

Smith released a statement on Tuesday morning, saying that Chicago’s front office “doesn’t value” him and has refused to “negotiate in good faith.” The linebacker later said he doesn’t currently see “a path back to the organization.” 

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Smith feels the Bears are attempting to “take advantage of him” in contract talks.

“My understanding, Mike, is that Roquan Smith has lost what he believes is any trust in the organization,” Rapoport said. “He believes they are trying to take advantage of him, that the organization is trying to strong-arm him into a deal that is really not something that he could take. 

“One example they’re insisting on: de-escalator clauses, which no player making $15 million or more has in their contract. The deal they offered him was highly, highly backloaded and would really hurt the entire linebacker market, and clearly he is offended by all of it.”

Chicago fired general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy after the 2021 NFL season, one that saw them go 6-11 and miss the NFC Playoffs. The Bears hired former Kansas City Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles to be its general manager and former Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus to be its head coach.

Smith has spent his entire four-year NFL career with the Bears, who selected him with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Georgia. He totaled three sacks, 163.0 combined tackles, 12 tackles for loss and one interception in 2021. Smith has started in 59 of the 61 games he has appeared in for the Bears.

Chicago traded linebacker Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers for the No. 48 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, which became Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker, and a 2023 sixth-rounder this offseason. Smith, 25, is a free agent after the 2022 season.


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Source: FOX Sports

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