Roquan Smith Requests Trade from Bears

Huge news coming out of Chicago this morning as Star linebacker Roquan Smith has formally requested a trade.

This is stunning, as Smith has been “holding in” from training camp to pursue a contract extension. Both sides were positive a deal could get done.

“Unfortunately, the new front office regime doesn’t value me here,” Smith said.

Smith is currently unrepresented by an agent, and is dealing with negotiations by himself. He’s made it clear in the past he wishes to be paid top-tier linebacker money, and receive a 20+ million per year deal. The front office led by Ryan Poles clearly doesn’t see that as realistic, thus Smith requested a trade.

There are a plethora of possibilities as to why Smith has requested a trade. Here’s a few:

1. Roquan Smith wants out of Chicago.
This possibility is relatively unrealistic. Smith has previously stated that he wants to remain a Bear his entire career, and wanted negotiations to ensure he remained a Bear. While these negotiations have obviously soured relations, it’s doubtful that he has just decided he’s ready to move on.

2. Roquan Smith is using the situation for leverage in negotiations.

Compare the situation to Deebo Samuel and the 49ers if you will. Samuel was their most impactful player on roster, wanted top money, and when he wasn’t offered that, he requested a trade – then the Niners paid up. Smith is in the same exact situation. He went public with his trade request to try and put pressure on the front office.

3. Roquan Smith is a poor negotiator.
Smith is unrepresented. He has no agent, thus is responsible for himself in all talks pertaining to his contract. Many Bears fans remember his holdout to sign his rookie contract. Well, here we are now. He’s had 2 disputes in the span of 4 years. Maybe it’s a sign he should hire an agent?

The legitimacy of this trade request has yet to be seen. While things look terrible right now, it’s best to not cast judgement on either parties.
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