Bears activating Roquan Smith from PUP list is a power move

Roquan Smith, Chicago Bears. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Roquan Smith, Chicago Bears. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Now that the Chicago Bears have activated Roquan Smith off the PUP list, optics suggest that it looks more like a power move from the organization. 

On Tuesday, Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith posted a lengthy Twitter statement requesting a trade from the organization. General Manager Ryan Poles later addressed the media, citing his desire to have Smith inked to a long-term extension.

A day later, ESPN’s Courtney Cronin reported that the Bears had activated the All-Pro linebacker off the Physically Unable to Perform list, which means Smith is eligible to practice. However, after staging what appeared to be a hold-in, Smith now has to see the Bears use this as a power move.

By activating him off PUP, the Bears can now fine him for not practicing. This was not the case while Smith dealt with an undisclosed injury. The fine for a player holding in on the final year of his rookie deal is $40K/day. Cronin reports that it is not mandatory, but the Bears have an option to do so.

Bears: Activating Roquan Smith from PUP list is a leverage move

It’s not hard to see why the Chicago Bears should pay Roquan Smith. He’s their best defensive player now that Khalil Mack is off to the Chargers. Drafted No. 8 overall back in 2018, Smith was an integral part of Chicago’s 2018 NFC North Championship team that came within a double-doink of moving on in the playoffs against the Eagles.

At the same time, though, the Bears are technically in a rebuild, and Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus are in charge and have a vision of how they want this team to be. Smith has all the physical qualities of what they want, but right now, they need more than just one player to reach their goal.

Roquan Smith is undoubtedly a talented player and would be an asset to any team, including the Chicago Bears. But how he went about business is not a good move, and now the Bears have pulled their power move on him. It’s a waiting game to see what happens after these recent events.

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