oquan Smith's wish for a hefty contract extension has yet to be met, and his camp's patience is wearing thin.
According to a statement made on Tuesday, the linebacker has formally sought a trade.
Smith stated, in part, that "the current front office administration doesn't appreciate me here." "They've failed to negotiate in good faith, and every step of this trip has been a 'take it or leave it' situation." If I sign the offer that was sent to me, it would be awful for both myself and the entire LB market. I've been trying to get something reasonable done since April, but their priority has been to take advantage of me.
I wanted to be a Bear for the rest of my career, to assist this team return a (Super Bowl) to our city. They have, however, left me with no choice but to request a trade that will allow me to play for a team that actually values what I bring to the table.
I haven't had the opportunity to speak with the McCaskey family, and perhaps they can save this, but I don't see a way back to the organisation I actually love right now."
Smith has routinely been one of Chicago's finest defenders, earning two consecutive second-team All-Pro nods in the last two seasons.
The Bears, on the other hand, have failed to make Smith a meaningful offer for a long-term contract that would keep him in Chicago for years to come, causing Smith to sit out practise since training camp began nearly two weeks ago.
According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, Smith was outraged by Chicago's backloaded offer because it did not make him the highest-paid LB in terms of actual compensation and had de-escalators that no other NFL contract of that magnitude did.
According to Bears general manager Ryan Poles, the organisation "brought it" in contract discussions and still expects to keep Smith for the foreseeable future.
"I expected us to be in a better situation," Poles said. "My current plans are to sign Roquan to this club. We'll approach it day by day, and in the end, we have to do what's best for our organisation. But my objective is to get Roquan signed to this team."
Smith's image appears to differ depending on who you ask. He has not been selected to the Pro Bowl by the voting public, but media members with All-Pro votes have not shied away from honouring his performance.
Smith, on the other hand, is viewed as a middling defender by Pro Football Focus, with his best single-season defensive grade finishing at only 67.2.
Smith, who is owed $9.7 million in the fifth and final year of his rookie contract, appears to be following the same approach.
Poles and coach Matt Eberflus, two men who had no input in selecting Smith eighth overall in 2018, are ushering in a new era for the Bears. Although Smith has proven to be a quality linebacker, he was not chosen by Poles and Eberflus, nor is he one they are rushing to sign – at least not right now.
Chicago is in the midst of a sort of rebuild, focusing on a younger group with long-term ambitions in mind. Smith appears to match such ideas, assuming he isn't the best fit for the incoming government.
We'll see if another team is interested in luring Smith away from the Bears.