Man Who Requested Trade Was "Shocked" He Was Traded

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Man Who Requested Trade Was “Shocked” He Was Traded

Chicago Bears

I’m not trying to blast the guy, but it’s a little weird to have been shocked by what happened this week.

Yes, Roquan Smith trade was an eye-opener. It was very notable. Trading a Pro Bowl-caliber middle linebacker who his peers voted a top-100 player this summer, while still in his prime, isn’t something that happens every day.

But it happened, and given everything that preceded it, the trade wasn’t something that totally shocked us when the news crossed the wire.

Yet Roquan Smith, himself, says he was shocked by the trade:

Man who requested trade is shocked by trade isn’t something I had on my BINGO card today.

Remember, Smith explicitly requested a trade in early August:

The Bears trading Roquan would’ve been a long shot had you thrown the idea in front of me in January when the calendar flipped to 2021. Or at any point during the offseason when the vibes were essentially saying it was a matter of when and not if a Smith extension would be coming down the pipeline. Heck, there was even a brief time in August when there was still a sliver of optimism a deal could get done.

But in the end, too much damage had been done during a summer when things got ugly in extension talks:

In the end, it sure sounds like contentious contract negotiations were a tipping point in the Poles-Smith relationship. And when Smith wasn’t producing at a high level — and thus, taking the 1-for-1 comp with Darius (Shaquille) Leonard comp off the board — the writing was on the wall and the decision was made to make the call and execute a trade.

Thinking back on it, no one should be surprised by this course of action.

You can point out Smith’s sitting out training camp in July. Even while the Bears played nice (buying time for ongoing negotiations with a trip to the PUP list) things weren’t going great. The manner in which Smith’s trade request was put in didn’t seem to go over well with the general manager. And that eventually led to Smith being pushed off the PUP list. Roquan would later call contract talks “distasteful” … then would declare negotiations were over and that he was playing out the final season of his rookie contract. And I can’t imagine that someone purporting to represent Roquan calling teams to gauge trade interest was something the Bears were happy to deal with.

Seriously consider all that came before this deal. Again, no one should be surprised by this. Particularly the player who made a very, very public trade request in August.

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Author: Luis Medina

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