Roquan Smith's Beef With Ryan Poles is Still Alive and Well

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Roquan Smith’s Beef With Ryan Poles is Still Alive and Well

Chicago Bears

The Athletic’s Dan Pompei wrote a high-quality story about Roquan Smith, the former Chicago Bears linebacker, who has a new lease on his football life since being dealt to the Baltimore Ravens.

It’s a good read and I think it is worth a Bears fan’s time. Yes, I say that even as Pompei writes about Smith being where he wants to be after a trade that “shocked” him back in October. For what it’s worth, I can’t argue against Smith being in the right place at the right time. Roquan is coming into his own and finding a comfort zone in Baltimore. And not just because he picked off former teammate Mitchell Trubisky. In reading Pompei’s story, Smith seems to be in a good place. And that is important for players who make in-season moves. I can’t imagine that is an easy transition to make.

But it seems as if he can’t quite let go of his past. Or his beef with Bears GM Ryan Poles.

“I thought Poles would ship me out, but he told me numerous times, ‘I don’t plan to trade you at all,'” Smith said in The Athletic’s story. “So I was like, I guess I won’t be going anywhere.’ He said we’d talk at the end of the season.”

“I took him at his word,” Smith said. “But life happens.”

As it would turn out, Poles would ship Smith out. And rather than building around Smith, a message he believes Poles was relaying to him while he was in Chicago, the Bears moved on from the linebacker. That’s gotta sting.

In the story, Smith would go on to shed some light on extension negotiations with the Bears. Smith said the team never offered a deal that would’ve paid him what Shaquille Leonard or Fred Warner are making at the top of the market. Moreover, Smith would add that the extension offer he *DID* receive was backloaded and “a slap in the face.”

And to think, this isn’t the first time Smith has painted Poles in a negative light. Remember when he said the Bears were negotiating in bad faith when he put in a trade request in August?

All of it comes off as words of a scorned ex who isn’t happy with how things ended in Chicago. Tough scene.


It has been about a month and a half since the Bears traded Roquan to the Ravens. And to this point, I think the deal is working out well for everyone.

Poles and the Bears brought in some valuable draft capital. Meanwhile, the Ravens received a good linebacker who filled a notable need. As for Smith, he left a team on the cusp of locking itself into a top 5 pick to play for one in the playoff hunt. That counts in the win column for the player. Even on the field, former teammate Jack Sanborn can catch a W here. The rookie can claim to be a winner from this trade because of the uptick in playing time he has received (and what he has done with it). But Smith still seems miffed about the trade. And I’m not sure those hard feelings are going to go away any time soon.

Well, at least until the Ravens give him the contract he desires. And we’ll see if that happens. After all, they’ve got that Lamar Jackson situation to hash out sooner or later.


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Author: Luis Medina

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