Despite a contract dispute with one of the league's top linebackers, the Chicago Bears are publicly stating their desire to keep Roquan Smith on the roster.
Smith has expressed his desire to be traded, and is not happy with how contract negotiations have transpired.
“The new front office regime doesn’t value me here,” Smith wrote in a statement, via Ian Rapoport. “They’ve refused to negotiate in good faith, every step of this journey has been ‘take it or leave it’. The deal sent to me is one that would be bad for myself, and for the entire LB market if I signed it. I’ve been trying to get something done that’s fair since April, but their focus has been on trying to take advantage of me.”
This offseason, the Bears hired Ryan Poles as their general manager. Despite the impasse, the new front-office executive is still working to make amends.
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“Right now, my intention is to sign Roquan to this team,” Poles said, via Sports Illustrated. “We’re gonna take it day by day and at the end of the day we got to do what’s best for the organization. But my intention are to make sure Roquan Smith is on this team.”
ESPN, with the help of league executives, recently put together a list of teams which have the potential to land the 25-year-old linebacker.
According to ESPN, "The Lions like their team more than most around the league like Detroit, and believe they can make noise in the short term. The defense needs marquee players. But sharing a division with Chicago could be a non-starter from a trade perspective, and Detroit might be a year away from making this sort of splash move."