Bears All-Pro Linebacker Roquan Smith Requests Trade
By Jason Hall
August 9, 2022
Chicago Bears All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith has requested a trade, according to a detailed message written by Smith and shared by NFL Network senior insider Ian Rapoport on Tuesday (August 9).
Smith is currently in the final year of his rookie contract and has been in a dispute with the Bears since the beginning of training camp, having since been placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list due to injury.
In the note, Smith claims he lost trust in the franchise after what he perceived to be the team taking advantage of him during negotiations and feels he's being pressured into a "take it or leave it" deal.
Smith said he planned to finish his career in Chicago, "but the new front office regime doesn't value me here."
"I haven't had the chance to talk to the McCaskey family, and maybe they can salvage this, but as of right now I don't see a path back to the organization I truly love," Smith wrote. "I hope and pray you all can understand, I'm deeply sorry it's come to this."
Smith was selected by the Bears at No. 8 overall during the 2018 NFL Draft, a move made by former general manager Ryan Pace, who was fired during the offseason.
The Bears hired former Kansas City Chiefs executive of player personnel Ryan Poles -- who was signed to the franchise as an undrafted free agent during training camp in 2008 -- in January.
Smith was selected as a second-team All-Pro during each of the past two seasons, as well as the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team in 2018.
The former University of Georgia standout enters his fifth NFL season with 524 career tackles, 14.0 sacks, five interceptions, 17 pass deflections, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one defensive touchdown.