Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith has formally requested a trade, he announced Tuesday, following weeks of negotiations and being a “hold-in” at training camp.
The statement, appearing to be written on the Notes app on a smartphone, was initially posted to Twitter by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The full text is embedded below.
Smith, entering the final year of his rookie deal, has been negotiating with the Bears representing himself. The two parties have reportedly been far apart and now, releasing a public statement for the first time says that the Bears have “refused to negotiate in good faith.”
He goes on to say that “every step of the way is ‘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.”
Smith is likely seeking a deal that would put him in the $17 million per year range.
The Bears have been quiet about their negotiations with Smith, but at the beginning of training camp, GM Ryan Poles did say that they wanted to get a deal done.
There likely isn’t a ton of trade capital that the Bears can get back for Smith, but he’s a great young player and a two-time Second Team All-Pro who has been ascending and is the face of the defense, currently.
Things move fast in the NFL and the Bears and Smith could easily patch this up with a lot of dollar signs. Stay tuned for any developments.