Chicago Bears Linebacker Roquan Smith Requests Trade, Calls It ‘Deeply Painful’

by Patrick Norton
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A year of misery rapidly approaches for the Chicago Bears. Ahead of Tuesday morning’s Family Fest, the team received significantly devastating news. Roquan Smith – one of the NFL’s premiere linebackers – requested a trade, feeling insulted with the organization’s recent contract negotiations.

Smith continues to “hold-in,” remaining present at training camp, riding an exercise bike on the sideline and staying near proper conditioning. However, the linebacker won’t participate in drills or practices until he agrees to a long-term contract extension with the team.

The novel written by Smith posted on Ian Rapoport’s Twitter lays out criticism of the team’s new front office, but offers an interesting avenue to salvage the broken relationship. Smith’s diatribe opens a new can of worms for the rebuilding franchise in dire need of stability.

Entering the fifth and final season of his rookie contract, Smith begins, “I have officially requested a trade; just writing these words is deeply painful.” No. 58 represents himself, causing the linebacker to believe the team is trying to take advantage of him in negotiations.

After appealing the die-hards, invoking the names of Wilbur Marshall, Mike Singletary, Dick Butkus and other legends, the tone shifts. “Unfortunately, the new front office regime doesn’t value me here,” Smith said.

The All-Pro later said, “I haven’t had the chance to talk to the McCaskey family, and maybe they can salvage this.” Smith finished the statement, “I hope and pray you all can understand, I’m deeply sorry it’s come to this.”

Roquan Smith’s Negotiating Tactic Caught Bears by Surprise

After the team’s practice at Soldier Field in Chicago, first-year general manager Ryan Poles addressed the media. Opening the press conference with a lengthy monologue, Poles expressed a deep desire to make things right. However, the GM said, “we can’t lose sight that this isn’t about one player. My job is to build a roster that sustains success for a long period of time.”

When asked about Poles’ intentions in negotiations, the general manager didn’t mince words. Poles said, “Right now my intentions are to sign Roquan to this team. And we’re going to take it day-by-day. At the end of the day we’ve got to do what’s best for this organization. But my intentions are to make sure Roquan Smith’s on this team.”

However, for the first-year regime, playing whack-a-mole throughout the offseason creates headaches. Through a flurry of idiotic arrests of multiple players, and the challenges of providing weaponry to quarterback Justin Fields on the gridiron, Roquan Smith’s trade request adds another log to the burning fire fueled by the disappointment of Bears fans.

Outsider.com