Roquan Smith requests a trade from Bears

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The contract dispute between the Bears and linebacker Roquan Smith reached a new level on Tuesday.

Smith announced that he has requested a trade from Chicago.

The linebacker issued a statement, via Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, noting that writing the words he’d requested a trade was “deeply painful.”

“Unfortunately, the new front office regime doesn’t value me here,” Smith wrote. “They’ve refused to negotiate in good faith, every step of this journey has been ‘take it or leave it.’ The deal sent to me is one that would be bad for myself, and for the entire LB market if I signed it. I’ve been trying to get something done that’s fair since April, but their focus has been on trying to take advantage of me.

“I wanted to be a Bear for my entire career, help this team bring a Super Bowl back to our city. However, they have left me no choice than to request a trade that allows me to play for an organization that truly values what I bring to the table.”

Smith does leave open the possibility that he could rescind the trade request.

“I haven’t had the chance to talk to the McCaskey family, and maybe they can salvage this,” he wrote, “but as of right now I don’t see a path back to the organization I truly love.”

Per Rapoport, Chicago’s offer was backloaded and wouldn’t make him the highest-paid linebacker in actual salary. Smith was also offended by proposed de-escalators that are not in the contract of any of the 94 non-quarterbacks who are making at least $15 million per year.

Smith is currently on the physically unable to perform list. But he was not planning to practice anyway while in the contract dispute, effectively creating a “hold in.”

The No. 8 overall pick of the 2018 draft, Smith has been a second-team All-Pro in each of the last two seasons. He recorded a career-high 163 total tackles last season, with 12 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, an interceptions, and three passes defensed.

In 61 career games, Smith has five interceptions, 14.0 sacks, and 43 tackles for loss.

71 responses to “Roquan Smith requests a trade from Bears

  1. Ryan Poles has been an unmitigated disaster. Completely in over his head.

  2. He is the only remaining front 7 key player from original defense. No reason to keep him during your rebuild if you can gain draft picks.

  3. By far the best player on the team, I’d want out too. There’s zero indication that Chicago will be anything other than a dumpster fire for the next five+ years.

  4. The last time the Bears traded a LB wearing #58 to Washington it worked out pretty well. Make it happen again!

  5. I wouldn’t want to be on the Bears right now if I was Roquan.

  6. Another one bites the dust. Bears gonna be the Bears. I do’t understand why the fans still show up with the ownership they have.

  7. Everyone’s got to be the highest paid at signing nowadays no matter their true worth on the field.

  8. Smith got a massive signing bonus, why is that NEVER mentioned? Of course his contract is backloaded. EVERY player contract is backloaded. This guy is more trouble than he’s worth.

  9. I’ve gotta side with management here. Players always need to reset the market? Come on.

    Those $25 beers aren’t buying themselves.

  10. The salaries are way out of whack no way any of these guys should be making 30-50 million a year. I can see why he would be hurt the dudes a great player. Pay the man!!

  11. LOL, Ryan Pace’s best (and arguably only) good 1st round pick on his way out. He is a great player but somehow I don’t think the new regime in charge will be too upset to see him walk.

  12. This is why you need an agent because the initial offers will piss you off and the agents handle the BS of getting the right offer out there rather than a player doing it himself then blasting it out on social media. Smith has a chance to become an even bigger star in a cover 2 4-3 defense ala Briggs and Urlacher. At the end of the day he is under contract for 1 more year and the team has the franchise tag at their disposal. Hopefully this trade demand will push the team to get this deal done.

  13. NFL players are way too greedy, let him go……hopefully the Bears get a good draft pick or two.

  14. Danielle K says:
    With the first pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select…
    “They have a 2023 first rounder? Hmm..” – Ryan Pace

  15. I really dislike it when players, who make more $$$ than most people will ever see, whine about not being paid enough.

  16. Lets be honest, we all saw this coming when all the newly hired staff had the same names as the last guys.

  17. religionisforidiots says:
    August 9, 2022 at 9:07 am

    Ryan Poles has been an unmitigated disaster. Completely in over his head.


    Not sure what an agent and player being greedy has anything to do with the brand new GM.

    You’re a reflection of the adverse effects.

  18. Pack need help at WR. He’s pretty fast if I recall. Better hands than lazzard too!

  19. Can’t say that this was entirely unexpected. While he has been one of the best and most consistent players on the team for the last four years, he also held out before signing his rookie deal and began posturing last year. He’s been immensely valuable to the Bears, but has performed like a Darius Leonard. I absolutely love the kid and think he should be paid like a top 10 LB, but I think he envisions top 3 money… Poles’ calculus should be trade value vs. Smith’s value to the rebuild. Can you build a defense around him? I think, ultimately, you get what you can for him and preserve whatever good will you can by granting his trade request.

  20. Translation … they won’t give me the money I want. Maybe someone else will.

  21. This is a passing league you need great LB’s against the pass like Fred Warner or Darius Leonard. Roquan is not in their league.

  22. May as well get the picks for him while he is at his peak. He is worth atleast a first rounder he is that good

  23. Bears are one of the worst franchises in sports. Finally time to admit it. This isn’t 1985 anymore.

  24. As a Packers fan brings me so much joy to watch the Bears suck more like the Lions every year! Dumb owners,Dumb Mgr. Lousy players! Keep it going! The team reflects the The Mayor of the City!

  25. Sign him or don’t sign him, one thing is clear. As soon as 3 or 4 LBs sign deals worth more than his he’ll be holding out (or holding in) again.

  26. As a long time fan, I understand the NFL is a business first and foremost. It does lessen the love of the sport each time a player complains about a $75 Million dollar contract offer is disrespectful and not enough.

  27. I don’t understand all the hate for Poles. It seems to be coming from fans that seem to want Poles to take actions that would put us right back into the situation Poles is trying to get us out of. If what Quan is saying is true and they undervalue him get your demands public. Lay out the contract you want. I’ve yet to see any indication that the Bears are unwilling to pay Smith big money. Everything I’ve read indicates the Bears are willing to pay him 18-20 mil a year. If that’s true, and Smith feels disrespected by that then he’s the problem not the Bears. Across 2 Bears regimes now every NFL contract Smith has discussed has resulted in a hold out. Based on what I’ve read up until this point Smith needs an agent because he seems to be getting bad advice from somewhere. Don’t need Diva WR attitude our of a LB.

  28. “In 61 career games, Smith has five interceptions, 14.0 sacks, and 43 tackles for loss.”

    These stats dont get you a new contract before yours is up.

  29. Colts need to get on the horn.

    Man, he’s be an amazing pairing next to Darius Leonard

  30. Sounds like he wants TJ Watt money but with his numbers he shouldn’t be close to that kind of money

  31. The players complained about playing in front of nobody during the ‘pandemic’, with the rate that players salaries are rising, no fans will be able to afford to go to the games. Players MUST start thinking about that. Owners will pass the costs onto fans through tickets and concessions.

  32. Check with Atlanta pace would probably give up a couple of 1st rounds picks and maybe more

  33. Holding out when he was a rookie should have been a warning.

    Of course he’s going to play that card again.

    He’s a great LB, completely underrated, but isn’t the best LB in the league and thus, doesn’t deserve to be paid as the best. It’s still unknown how he fits in this system either.

    I’m interested to see what Poles does here. He doesn’t strike me as the kind of GM that folds to threats.

    If they do trade him, I hope it’s to a bottom feeder so the resulting draft picks bring a lot of value. Then Roquan can get paid and never win anything.

  34. ownewrs make close to a billion a year, the median for nfl player is about 900k; it’s somewhat understandable the players want more of the pie, the salary cap is simply the owners way of making the players seem greeedy… some are , but most are not even though they are bringing in peanuts compared to the owners. Then there’s the rest of us who would love to make close to a mil per for playing a game…

  35. Shurmanblogtardin’ says:
    August 9, 2022 at 9:10 am
    He is the only remaining front 7 key player from original defense. No reason to keep him during your rebuild if you can gain draft picks
    No reason to keep him? He’s a perfect centerpiece to a defense and someone to build around. And he’s young. Who else are the bears paying to where they can’t afford to give this guy a fair contract offer?

  36. All these players demand they be the highest paid at their position or trade me. Chicago might be wise to move him. It’s a rebuild. Why waste that kind of money on 1 position while the rest of the team sucks.
    Roquan is a helluva talent,… he could help a competitive team.

  37. If the Bears trade him, they now open the door to anyone else that wants out.

    Sucks but they should not give in and just tell him to suit up or get fined. McCaskey’s has nothing to smooth over. Roquan does with his team mates.

  38. I love Roquan but who knows what the offers are? Maybe Poles is lowballing him. Maybe Roquan wants the moon. There’s still lots of time to work out a deal.

    While he’s the best player going forward on the defense, he’s only a linebacker. You can replace those. My preference would be to keep him, but if we need to trade him, it’s not the end of the world.

  39. I have often thought that the presence of Aaron Rogers and the Detroit Lions in the NFC North has helped mask just how dismal the Bears have been for the last 30 years.

    This is just another reminder

  40. This idea that every deal has to be the highest ever is ludicrous. Bears stink with or without him, so no way they pay him what he thinks he deserves.

  41. There have been observations that Roquan doesnt have the typical larger framed & long armed LB build that Coach Eberfluss prefers..Bears are decimated at receiver & are clearly rebuilding, so if they can deal Roquan for a 1st plus a decent receiver, then let him go…

  42. The days of Chicago overpaying on defense, and scoring 10 points, is over.

    Pay him to sit, he can atrophy. It’s in everyone’s interest for him to play.

    I give Poles some faith. I don’t recall so much competition and upgrades versus previous regimes. Doing the exact opposite of years past is refreshing. Not sure it can get any worse.

    Just don’t make this a Greg Olsen moment.

    (I’m optimistic they make something work)

  43. This is a situation that serves neither party and both are at fault. The Bears obviously underestimated his knowledge and hoped he wouldn’t notice the unusual clauses in the contract. However Mr. Smith has ignored the saying “A lawyer who represents himself has a fool as a client” In this situation an agent would have the emotional distance to keep from being offended and legal ability to field trade offers.

  44. Wolfgang says:
    August 9, 2022 at 9:17 am
    no story here. He’ll be on the field opening day.

    drama is nonsense.
    And you know this how?
    He’ll likely be on the field opening day, but not necessarily in a Bears Uniform. And this isn’t “drama”, just part of life in the NFL.

  45. I like Smith but I’d be OK with trading him, they should be able to get a decent return for him. You don’t want to be here, see ya. Linebackers are getting to be like running backs, they see a lot of contact and the skills seem to decline sooner than they used to. And just like running backs, you can find them almost NFL ready right out of college.

  46. These guys are well schooled by their agents. they get some up front BONUS money but the big money is at the end of the contracts years, IF YOUR WITH THE TEAM. Thus, you get injured or your play drops off, they can cut you trade you and your now someone elses problem.
    The reality is after that first contract, the second one starts to get into those injury laden years and those areas where the play drops off. Especially most running backs not named Adrian Pederson.

  47. Let this dude walk and make sure the door hits him in the you know what. He is not worth the selfishness at all.

  48. Hard to form an opinion without knowing the actual numbers exchanged. One thing I never understand is how fans trash the player for trying to get market level contracts while somehow comparing the requested contract amounts to what us every day shmoes make rather than comparing those contract amounts to the literally billions of dollars the NFL owners make. The players deserve what the market will bear up to the cap — a cap that will go up by 30-40% in the next couple years. They’ve got maybe a 5-10 year window to earn the money. They have every right to seek all they can get.

  49. What??? Someone wants out of Chicago? A player would rather play his career somewhere other than the Bears dumpster fire? That’s shocking. Bad news for the Bears,…Smith is one of their best players and is already quite overrated. Considering his price tag I doubt they’d even get a 1st round pick for him. G’luck with that!

  50. Roquan is a totally undervalued (by media etc) LB. His numbers are as good as anyones overall and the guy has over 500 tackles in 4 years. Pay him and let’s move on.

  51. I think Ro is great and all players should get as much as possible. I hope they work it. If they don’t think he’s worth top dollar might as well shop Eddie too. His contract doesn’t make sense if Rob’s too expensive. If he has to leave, I hope Atlanta. Send him home. Falcons need an identity creator on Defense too. For a decade

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