Chicago Bears star linebacker Roquan Smith has requested a trade out of town in fall camp.
Chicago drafted the former Georgia star in the top 10 of the 2018 NFL Draft. Smith quickly became an instrumental part of the Bears defense, helping Chicago make two trips to the NFC playoffs during the Matt Nagy era. However, horrendous offensive output led to the McCaskeys making a change at the helm. Nagy and long-time Bears general manager Ryan Pace were fired.
As only Chicago could do, they replaced a head coach named Matt with another head coach named Matt in Matt Eberflus. To really make this a thing, the Bears replaced a general manager named Ryan with another general manger named Ryan in Ryan Poles. Was this to make things easier at Halas Hall so as few new names would have to be learned as possible? It is what it is, by my god…
Here is the heartfelt message Smith put together in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The most damning part in Smith’s lengthy message to Bears fans was this paragraph.
"“Unfortunately, the new front office regime doesn’t value me here,” wrote Smith in a message. “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.”"
Despite Eberflus being a defensive-minded head coach and Poles having had the respect of his former colleagues in the Kansas City Chiefs front office, how do they not see the value in Smith?
It may only be Aug. 9, but Bears fans may have to accept the fact this is the worst team in football.
Roquan Smith requests trade: Chicago Bears front office low-balls linebacker
Smith may be entering year five as a professional, but he is only 25 years old. Although the middle linebacker position he thrives playing has been grossly undervalued by NFL general managers over the last several seasons, Smith is the franchise’s best player, and he knows it! He is playing out his fifth-year option season in 2022. The linebacker also represented by Brian Ayrault of CAA Sports.
Over the last four seasons, Smith has played in 61 games and made 59 starts. The only time he has missed as a professional was in his second season out of Georgia, one where he made 12 of 16 starts for a 2019 Bears team that pulled back a bit after winning the NFC North the year prior. Regardless, this cannot be landing well in Chicagoland, as one of the best Bears now wants out.
Ultimately, the Bears do hold all the cards here. If they want to feel out trade offers for their best player, they are in a great position to do so. Since this team is probably going to be tanking by season’s end anyway once they realize how much they truly suck, look for Poles to want future draft compensation for the talented linebacker playing in a fifth-year contract season. Here we go.
By Smith taking a stand on low wages for his position group, it could force his way out of Chicago.