Roquan Smith's hold-in hasn't netted a new contract yet but he does have respect from NFL players.
After being snubbed for the Pro Bowl in 2020 and 2021, Smith found his way in NFL Network's top 100 players for the first time. He's No. 84 overall, one behind Browns offensive lineman Wyatt Teller.
Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David was one of the players interviewed about Smith and he probably didn't realize it but reflected the type of atittude most voters for the Pro Bowl have.
Told Smith never made the top 100 before, David said: "I didn't know that. Yeah, he should be on the list."
Former Packers, Lions and Bengals defensive lineman Mike Daniels agreed.
"We're not talking about him enough," Davniels said. "We need to be talking about him more."
Daniels noted Smith's speed when interviewed by NFL Network, and made a Smith comparison that sounded like a cartoon character.
"He's like a rabbit with dynamite in his mouth," Daniels said.
While Smith made the top 100, he was still well behind Saints linebacker Demario Davis, who was No. 75.
A two-time second team All-Pro, Smith joins Ray Lewis as the only players with 300 tackles and 30 tackles for loss over two seasons.
Smith last year made a career-high 163 tackles, including 95 solos. He had 98 solos in 2020. Smith has 43 tackles for loss, five career interceptions and 14 sacks in four seasons.
The Bears put Smith at weak side lineback in their new 4-3 scheme after he had played one of the inside linebacker spots in the old 3-4. He practiced it all offseason during voluntary work and mandatory minicamp, and hasn't practiced since training camp started because of his hold-in for a contract extension.
Last week he demanded a trade through a letter in a Tweet made by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Smith is representing himself in the contract extension negotiations and Bears GM Ryan Poles has said it doesn't make the situation easier.
"It's difficult," Poles said last week. "There's emotions involved and it's tough. It's a very unique situation that we've had to deal with and I thought we've done a pretty good job, which again that's why I'm a little disappointed we're at this spot."