Bears GM Ryan Poles Addresses Roquan Smith Trade Request
By Jason Hall
August 9, 2022
"We have to do what's best for the team...but my intention is to sign Roquan Smith," Poles said via Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Smith wrote a detailed message addressing his intention to be traded amid an ongoing contract dispute with the Bears on Tuesday, which was shared by NFL Network senior insider Ian Rapoport.
Smith, who is currently in the final year of his rookie contract and was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list due to injury during training camp, 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.
Bears GM Ryan Poles: “We have to do do what’s best for the team… but my intention is to sign Roquan Smith.”— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) August 9, 2022
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 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.