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Bears' Roquan Smith Asks For Trade In Contract Dispute. GM plans to 'make sure' All-Pro LB stays in Chicago

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All-Pro linebacker Rokuan Smith has asked the Chicago Bears to trade him. NFL networkIn a lengthy letter to the city of Chicago and Bears fans, Smith expressed a desire to remain with the organization for the rest of his career, but as he puts it, “The new front-office structure is here to evaluate me.” I haven’t.”

Smith, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, reported to training camp but has not practiced as he is looking for a new contract. He added that the Bears were not negotiating in good faith and had pressured him to simply accept the deal on the table or abandon it.

“To the City of Chicago and all Bears fans around the world, I am officially requesting a trade. Just writing these words hurts me so much.

I’m a kid from Macon County, Georgia. When he grows up playing football, he dreams of going to the NFL someday. But playing the linebacker position, I could never imagine being drafted into the top 10 by the Chicago Bears! I am a HOMEGROWN Bear! With that Bears helmet on, the legendary dream of having the opportunity to wear the same jersey as LB has come true. It is a feeling that cannot be expressed in words.

Walking through these corridors for the past four years, you can feel the spirit, the timeless history, the pressure to live up to the great legacy. I dreamed of playing like Wilber Marshall, Singletary, Briggs, Urlacher and Butkus. From the day I was drafted, I pledged to play this position at a level that upheld the standards set before me and to maintain its respect and honor.

Unfortunately, the new front office structure doesn’t count me here. They refused to negotiate in good faith. The deals sent to me are bad for myself and, if I sign them, bad for the LB market as a whole. I’ve been trying to be fair since April, but their focus has been on trying to take advantage of me.

I’ve wanted to be a bear my whole career. Please help this team bring the Super Bowl back to our city. In the end, it leaves me with no choice.

I haven’t had the chance to speak to the McCaskey family and maybe they can help with this, but for now I can’t see a way back to the organization I truly love.

We appreciate your understanding.

Sincerely,
locan smith

according to NFL network, the Bears gave Smith a backloaded offer, but without making him the highest-paid linebacker in terms of actual salary, and an proposed number that no non-quarterback with a $15 million-plus contract has. We have reduced the number of escalators. That kind of offer angered Smith and helped lead to this trade request.

Despite the current situation between the two, the Bears’ new general manager Ryan Pauls said he intends to keep Smith in the fold.

“Now my intention is to make sure Roquan is on this team,” Poles said. Via Ian Rapoport.

The 25-year-old has spent his entire career in Chicago after the club selected him eighth overall from Georgia in the 2018 NFL Draft. Over the past two seasons, Smith has been named a Second Team All-Pro and is widely regarded as one of his top linebackers in the league.

Last season, Smith had a career-high 163 tackles, three sacks and three pass breakups.