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‘Distasteful’: Amid Cowboys Rumors, Bears' Roquan Smith Makes Trade Decision

Let me put it this way: These might be good ideas. But they are not the Cowboys’ ideas.
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Roquan Smith has blasted Chicago Bears management, saying, "They've refused to negotiate in good faith ... Their focus has been on trying to take advantage of me."

That position would be enough to keep a guy off his team plane ... and yet right now, the star linebacker is in Seattle as his Bears play a second preseason game, this one against the Seahawks.

Smith won't play, of course.

And the rumors won't stop.

Two respected media guys are connecting the Cowboys with a blockbuster trade for the unhappy Bears star linebacker.

Can they both be wrong?

UPDATE: On Saturday, Smith announced that he would play out the season in Chicago.

“I thought (the process) was very distasteful to say the least,” Smith said. “It wasn’t what I anticipated, nor what I expected from the situation. . . . Now I’m just shifting my focus to the season … I’m going to take it and run with it and bet on myself. Negotiations are over right now.”

Smith added: “I see myself at a number, and they see me at a number,” Smith said. “We couldn’t agree.”

Our pal at Heavy Sports, NFL insider Matt Lombardo, labeled the Cowboys as a top potential trade partners for the Bears.

And Sports Illustrated colleague Albert Breer also views the Cowboys as a potential landing spot for Smith.

Let me put it this way: These might be good ideas. But they are not the Cowboys’ ideas.

What would the Cowboys have to give up in a potential blockbuster trade to acquire Smith? Lombardo thinks the Bears’ eventual asking price could be as low as a future third-round pick; we are skeptical there. This is a top-10 player from his draft and a Pro Bowler who is age 25? And Chicago dumps him for a middle-round pick?

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What about roster fit? Here’s proof of my position that this isn’t a rumor coming from inside Cowboys HQ: Lombardo and Greer have arrived at the same destination via conflicting paths.

Lombardo says the former Georgia standout selected by the Bears with the No. 8 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft would allow Dallas to “leave Micah Parsons at his natural position as an edge rusher.”

OK. So the Cowboys want Roquan so Micah can permanently move to end? Cool.

But Breer writes, “I like the idea of the Cowboys doing something here, too, because it’d free up the coaches to get even more creative with Micah Parsons …”

OK. So the Cowboys want Roquan so Micah can not permanently move to end? Cool.

Where does this idea really come from? Sources outside of The Star, almost certainly. And someplace else: In the math minds of observers. Lombardo notes that Dallas is one of just a handful of teams “with over $20 million in cap space.”

But as Cowboys fans know - like it or not - that cap-space money is largely earmarked for the future signings of in-house standouts Parsons, CeeDee Lamb and Trevon Diggs.

Dallas could do Roquon, who and is slated to have a $9.7 million salary for 2022 and due for a new deal (thus his trade demand in Chicago). But the going APY rate for star inside linebackers is between $15 million and $19 million.

That part doesn’t fit.

After signing former Pro Bowler Anthony Barr to team with Parsons, Leighton Vander Esch and Jabril Cox, the Cowboys believe they’ve already been clever and aggressive in building the linebackers room. Their view might be wrong. But it’s their view.

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