Roquan Smith Trade-Request Update: What Are His Demands? Robust Interest from the Market, How It Went Down, More

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Roquan Smith Trade-Request Update: What Are His Demands? Robust Interest from the Market, How It Went Down, More

Chicago Bears

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, who broke the news of Roquan Smith’s trade request this morning, made an appearance on 670 The Score’s Parkins and Spiegel Show to talk about what went down and how it came about.

This was a good pull in terms of getting a guest on the show. And some quality radio. You’ll want to give it a listen:

We threaded some highlights of the interview on Twitter. And for the sake of this post, we’ll expand on those tweets with some thoughts and perspective from some notable highlights.

Roquan Smith is looking for a contract in the neighborhood of Shaquille Leonard’s deal with the Colts. I found it notable that Rapoport made it seem like the Bears were in the neighborhood with their offer. But there was a “but” … and it happens to be a big one. In essence, Chicago’s offer to Smith has a structure that would make it look like Leonard’s deal. HOWEVER, it would be an inflated, back-loaded structure. And thus, making it look like Smith was getting a deal in Leonard’s ballpark because of how the final year of the deal was structured (but Smith might not actually get that type of deal).

Cliff Stein is back in the fray. Stein was a long-time Bears contract negotiator before Ryan Pace took him out of that position and put Joey Laine in charge of that role. I was hoping a change of pace would be good for the Bears. Instead, Rapoport name-checked Stein and noted that “it’s been difficult” in negotiations. It’s worth pointing out that some of the Bears’ rookie deals took some time, most notably second-round picks Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker. If Stein is mucking things up, the Bears might need to move him aside should things continue to sputter.

A Roquan Smith trade market would be robust. Rapoport’s commentary on Smith’s potential trade market is certainly eye-opening. In breaking down the situation, Rapoport tries to strike a balance by noting that while Smith’s position (WILL or MIKE LB) isn’t a premium in this current era of football, Smith is the type of player who is transcendent at the position. He goes onto offer up that Smith could join the likes of Laremy Tunsil and Jalen Ramsey as non-quarterbacks who net a first-round pick+ in trade offers. Frankly, if the Bears can extract a pair of first-round picks for a player they’re clearly hesitating to give a $20M AAV deal to keep around, then it might behoove them to take that type of offer.

An extension? It’s possible. Trade? That could happen, too. No, Rapoport didn’t go to his crystal ball to make a prediction. He, himself, made it known that really isn’t in his bag of tricks. Even still … the way Rapoport was laying it out made it seem that a trade and an extension agreement are both realistic possibilities. Rapoport cites Smith’s language in his statement, in which he maintains his preference to stay in Chicago long term. He also underscores Smith’s mention of wanting to talk things over with the McCaskey family.

For what it’s worth, I also feel as if Smith’s name-dropping the McCaskeys is telling. But my ultimate takeaway is that this situation is wide open. With Rapoport stating his belief Smith could net the Bears a first-round pick and more, the trade possibility is more realistic than we would’ve previously thought before today.

We’ve got some time to hash this out. And so do Smith and the Bears. But I don’t imagine it’ll be done quietly after today’s escapades.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.