Roquan Smith explains trade request: Bears have ‘refused to negotiate in good faith’ in contract talks

The Bears made Roquan Smith their first-round pick in 2018, but now he wants out.

Smith is toying with the fifth-year option on his rookie deal, but issues surrounding a contract extension and, according to him, malicious negotiations have both led to the linebacker requesting a trade.

The 25-year-old issued a statement on Tuesday explaining his trade request and highlighting the friction between him and the organization.

Trade request from Roquan Smith

Smith’s statement in full:

To the City of Chicago and all Bears fans worldwide,

I have officially applied for a trade; Just writing those words is deeply painful.

I’m a kid from Macon County, Georgia. Growing up watching football dreams of one day making the NFL. However, if you’re playing the linebacker position, you can NEVER imagine getting drafted into the top 10 by the Chicago Bears! I’m a native bear! A dream come true for me to have the opportunity to put on the helmet of the bears, to wear the same jersey that the legendary LBs wore, it’s an indescribable feeling.

If you’ve walked these hallways for the past four years, you can feel the spirit, you can feel the pressure of living up to this timeless story, this great legacy. I dreamed of playing like Wilbur Marshall, Singletary, Briggs, Urlacher, Butkus! Since the day I was drafted I have vowed to play that position at a level that will uphold the standard set before me to maintain that respect and honor and I have done so.

Unfortunately, the new front office regime doesn’t value me here. They have refused to negotiate in good faith, every step of this journey has been a take it or leave it. The deal sent to me would be bad for me and the entire LB market if I signed it. I’ve been trying to get something fair since April but they’re focused on taking advantage of me.

I’ve wanted to be a bear my entire career and help this team bring a Super Bowl back to our city. However, they gave me no choice but to request a trade that will allow me to play for an organization that genuinely values ​​what I bring to the table.

I haven’t had a chance to speak to the McCaskey family and maybe they can salvage that, but right now I see no going back to the organization that I truly love.

MORE: Bears 2022 schedule – dates, times for each Chicago game

Read  Home pool advantage: MUN swimmers ready for the Atlantic University Sport swimming championships in St. John's this weekend

Smith’s testimony certainly isn’t the best look for new GM Ryan Poles and the rest of the Bears’ front office, although it’s often said that players who aren’t drafted by a new regime don’t always get the same considerations as those who are there are.

However, the Poles made it clear that he intends to sign Smith on a long-term deal.

“We have to do what is best for the team but my intention is to sign Roquan Smith,” Poles said on Tuesday.

Roquan Smith Statistics

It’s also about Smith’s most recent performance: The linebacker endured a poor season with Chicago, posting a 47.8 PFF score in 2021, well below his 67.2 score the season before.

Overall, Smith is a two-time second-team All-Pro, having earned those honors in 2020 and 2021. He has completed 524 tackles in five seasons.

While Smith certainly saw himself alongside Bears greats, if he gets his wish he may have to write the next chapter elsewhere.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button