Roquan Smith requests trade from Chicago Bears – ESPN

Roquan Smith requests trade from Chicago Bears - ESPN

CHICAGO — Bears linebacker Roquan Smith said in a written statement that he requested a trade after contract negotiations between him and the organization reached an impasse.

Smith wrote a statement that was posted to social media by NFL Network on Tuesday. ESPN has confirmed the validity of these messages.

The 25-year-old linebacker wrote that the “new management regime doesn’t value me here,” after Smith says he’s been trying to work on an extension since April.

“They refused to negotiate in good faith,” Smith wrote. “Every step of this journey has been ‘take it or leave it’. The deal sent to me is bad for myself, and for the whole LB market if I sign it.”

Since the Bears drafted him eighth overall in 2018, the former Georgia standout has 14 sacks while recording at least 101 tackles and an interception in every season he’s played. Smith was set to make $9.7 million during the final year of his rookie deal and was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list when he reported to camp in late July.

Smith accused the Bruins’ front office of “trying to take advantage of me,” and that the organization “left me no choice but to ask for a trade that allows me to play for an organization that really values ​​what I bring to the table.”

In April, Smith expressed confidence that he would remain in Chicago long-term with a new deal and was a full participant during voluntary workouts and mandatory minicamp. In his statement, the linebacker said that’s what he wanted to be with the Bears for his entire career.

At the start of training camp, first-year general manager Ryan Poles, who expressed a desire to reach an extension agreement for Smith before the start of the regular season, addressed the team not yet working out a new deal for Smith.

“My feelings for Roquan don’t change at all,” Poles said on July 26. “I love the player and the person. And that’s not going to change. The one thing I’m going to ask everyone here, I know I’m going to get a lot of questions and I get it. I’m just not going to talk about contracts and all that , so I just wanted to make sure we dealt with it though. As far as my feelings for him, nothing changes.”

Smith was present in Halas Hall every day during training camp, often seen riding a stationary bike during practice. Coach Matt Eberflus noted his expectations in July for Smith while he remained on the PUP list.

“Stay involved, be a leader, get involved, what he’s doing and will do,” Eberflus said. “He’s a pro. He’s been in the league long enough. He’s a really good player. We’re excited to have him as a Chicago Bear. And he’s going to do that.”

In his statement, Smith apologized to Bears fans while expressing little faith that negotiations would turn around.

“I haven’t had a chance to talk to the McCaskey family, and maybe they can salvage that, but right now I don’t see a way back to the organization that I really love,” Smith said.

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