I didn’t think it would come to this, but Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith is requesting a trade.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport has the scoop via a message from Smith:
Smith, 25, is currently on the physically unable to perform list while in the midst of a “hold-in” as he seeks a new contract with the team. But to this point, there hasn’t been any movement to make anyone think an extension was immediately coming down the pipeline. Even still … there was a belief that Smith and the Bears would work through this thing. After all, Smith said he would be there “when the smoke clears” at the outset of this process. Maybe the room got too hazy. Or perhaps “there” could’ve meant anywhere. In any case, this is a rough look for a franchise that has failed to extend a handful of popular players in recent years. And Smith is set to become the latest if he doesn’t get his own deal.
Ultimately, I can’t believe it’s gotten to this point. Not when we’ve been discussing a Smith extension for a little more than a year. And certainly not when early reporting had the Bears “prioritizing” an extension for their star linebacker earlier in the offseason. Even when Smith’s “hold-in” was announced, there was an internal belief that something would get done. And maybe it still will. Smith does leave the door open to work things out if he can speak directly to the McCaskey family. So I’m not ready to give up all hope just yet.
So much for having a peaceful Family Fest at Soldier Field today.