Ryan Poles: My intention is to make sure Roquan Smith is a Bear

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Bears linebacker Roquan Smith went public with his desire to be traded on Tuesday morning and General Manager Ryan Poles offered a response from the team at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Poles said he was disappointed that things have progressed to this point because he loves Smith as a person and a player and “thought we’d be in a better situation” by this point in the summer. Poles said that he thought the offer of a new contract for Smith showed “him the respect he deserves,” but that a deal has to make sense for both sides and “obviously we’re not at that point.”

Neither that disappointment nor Smith’s request has Poles ready to say things have reached a point of no return, however.

“Right now, my intentions are to sign Roquan to this team,” Poles said. “We’re going to take it day by day. At the end of the day we have to do what’s best for this organization, but my intention is to make sure Roquan Smith is on this team.”

Smith’s stated intention is to play for someone other than the Bears, so something’s gonna have to give in Chicago for the status quo to change.

34 responses to “Ryan Poles: My intention is to make sure Roquan Smith is a Bear

  1. When’s the last time a player without an agent reset the market for their position? … Seems almost impossible without multiple suitors creating a bidding war, and even then, without an agent?!

  2. Not a great look for a first time GM. But I wonder how much of this is due to Roquan negotiating the deal himself, with no agent.

  3. Just like “I would resign before ever coaching a team without AJ Brown” and “We want to make Jamal a Jet for life”…

    This is code for we are open for business and going to evaluate all the offers before shipping him out to whichever team is the highest bidder.

  4. Interesting that Poles let the Tevin Jenkins situation run rampant with rumors but jumped right in on this one. Maybe he learned from the last one? Or the organization just has radically different feelings about Jenkins’ value vs. Ro’s.

  5. Poles has all the leverage here. Smith is still under contract this year, they can tag him next year, and then again the following year, effectively using him for 3 of his best years as a player. Le’Veon Bell should be on line 1 for Roquan right now. A perfect example of how not to handle this.

  6. Red flag. You won’t win 3 games this year. Get back picks the last Ryan threw away drafting Fields. Dumb.

  7. NFC Central: Vikes, Packers, Lions and Bears. Bears are basically saying this season barely matters for them. I’m sure it matters but it’s a tryout more than anything.

  8. Sounds to me like Ryan Poles is doing an excellent job, but they should consider trading him for draft value or lineman.

  9. This is a win win for Poles and the Bears. He’s not going anywhere without getting a return and if he stays he will be great to build around. Smart GM move here.

  10. panelpaneljoke says:
    August 9, 2022 at 2:21 pm
    Not a great look for a first time GM. But I wonder how much of this is due to Roquan negotiating the deal himself, with no agent.

    Exactly this! I said the same thing in another post. Young, hard-headed and not willing to pay the agent his 3% to get the best deal, thinking he can do better. Maybe he should ask Richard Sherman and Russell Okung how that worked out for them…

  11. Ryan Poles couldn’t play this any better. Wait it out. Nothing to lose here unless the return in trade flops.

  12. They should pay him as he’s definitely worth it.

  13. Poles indicated, the deal was record setting. I have to think the gap between the two parties is wider than it needs to be due to no agent.

    Without an agent, shouldn’t Ro be 3% cheaper to begin with?

    Pushing hard, playing the emotion string with notes, no agent (saving 3%), how much do you need or think you’re worth.

    Meanwhile the working stiffs, myself included, could retire on 3% of his total deal.

    Huge props to Poles for fighting fire with fire. Also, good call @bassplucker on the Tevin situation. My guess were the rumors were true on that point and unfortunately, I think TJ should’ve laid it out there honestly. Dancing around, non-answer, sounded weak/thin skinned. Man up. These guys are challenging me. I have to fight for a position. I wasn’t happy about it, but I swallowed my pride and got to work.

  14. Any player who goes public demanding something should be told to go pound sand and start acting like a man. Honor your contract and negotiate in private. I would have zero tolerance for any clown who did that to my team. I’d sit on his rights until the last second.

  15. Funny how many comments oppose a player getting market value for his services. And you guys wonder why wages decrease while corporate profits increase.

  16. Not a bears fan, but Poles inherited a team that has been mismanaged for 5 plus years. I think he is trying to reset the franchise, so they can be a good team long term.

  17. We don’t know the terms of the deal, but this is the second hold out he’s had. He doesn’t have an agent, what does he think he’s worth? 50MM/season?

    I’m all for players getting paid. I do get the fact that he could get injured on his 9MM year and he should be paid closer to 20MM.

    I love the player, he’s awesome. As a person, I have to wonder that 3% on 100MM deal is a rounding error and would have a better place to negotiate. He’s at Family Fest today, he wants to be there. He’ll have to realize if he wants to win, and go far, he’ll need to concede some money. Brady wasn’t breaking the bank anywhere he played.

    He’s making 5.8MM this year.

  18. This is why not having an agent is pretty frustrating for the team and fans. I hope Roquan gets paid, but it’s just so hard to negotiate when the player thinks they’re worth more than they are. If a team wants to give him more than 100 million, the Bears should trade him to that team and get the high draft picks that would accompany such a feeling.

    I hope the team negotiates in good faith and doesn’t have any silly contract items, but otherwise I think Poles is handling it fine. Roquan is a great player but giving him more than 90M with his current resume doesn’t make sense. He’s not a market-setting player at this point, just a notch below that, IMO.

  19. Should definitely follow the Okung no-agent approach and ask for half the salary in bitcoin. That cost Okung, what $3M or so.

  20. During a negotiation there’s no room for hurt feelings. Roquan is gonna go in saying “pay me like TJ Watt” and the Bears have to list all the reasons he’s not TJ Watt. Normally an agent is doing this and these egomaniacs are sheltered from having their feelings hurt as the teams point out all of the player’s flaws. In this case, the Bears are telling Roquan to his face and no one is sugar coating it for him so he’s feeling disrespected. Even if he gets paid he’s always gonna remember the new Bears regime said some mean things about him behind closed doors. I’ve not seen anything to make me think he’s mature enough to let that go.

  21. Smith is a monster man. That dude can HIT without him that bears team falls apart

  22. These sports agents have to be sweating bullets right now. It’s almost like that industry is slowly on the decline with more players deciding to represent themselves

  23. How many big contracts do guys have to get representing themselves with no agent before it starts to become a league norm to represent yourself

  24. Here’s hoping they do work out a deal. If not, I have little faith as a Bears fan any thing other than a 2-15 finish. The offensive line is weak. The receiver core next to non existent. The defensive front seven, sans Smith, would be totally decimated. The coverage unit would be young and unproven. Like him or not, Roquan is the glue of the Bears D. Without him, there’s little to build around or have faith in.

  25. Give Poles a break, he has to clear all this stuff through Ted Phillips and George McCaskey who are both “not involved in football operations”.

  26. B D says:
    August 9, 2022 at 2:37 pm
    Poles has all the leverage here. Smith is still under contract this year, they can tag him next year, and then again the following year, effectively using him for 3 of his best years as a player. Le’Veon Bell should be on line 1 for Roquan right now. A perfect example of how not to handle this.
    ————————————————————————————————-
    And those tagged years being fully guaranteed. 2022 tag was $18.7 million. Tag him twice and it’s 120% of previous year, as example: tag one $18.7 million and tag 2 $21.6 million. See Kirk Cousins and Washington. Yeah, the upper hand.

  27. Christopher Allan says:
    August 9, 2022 at 7:39 pm
    And those tagged years being fully guaranteed. 2022 tag was $18.7 million. Tag him twice and it’s 120% of previous year, as example: tag one $18.7 million and tag 2 $21.6 million. See Kirk Cousins and Washington. Yeah, the upper hand.

    ——————————————————————————————-

    So roughly $46M aggregate counting his 5th year for approximately $16M a year over the next 3 years without a long term, franchise crippling, contract while he’s at his peak as a player? Sign me up!

  28. Don’t really need an agent if you are gonna set the market. Same deal as highest paid player at the position plus $1. Might as well save the 3%. However the bears are garbage with or without Smith. Might as well trade him for picks.

  29. Considering Robert Quinn is making double what Roquan is making, he does have a point. On the other hand, he’ll get paid about that in 2023 if they tag him.

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