Chicago Bears' fans woke up to news that rocked their world this morning. Star linebacker Roquan Smith announced on his Instagram that he has requested a trade from the organization. Ryan Poles and Smith’s camp haven’t been able to reach an agreement due to the structure of the deal the Bears have put forth.
On an expiring contract at the ripe age of 25, Smith is due for a huge extension. If the Bears are able to lock him up, he will be a cornerstone piece of the franchise moving forward. But as things currently stand, Smith doesn't feel valued by the front office.
The Ryan Poles-Roquan Smith Situation
Not long after the bombshell news broke, Poles spoke on the subject.
“My feelings for Roquan haven’t changed at all...Which makes me really disappointed with where we’re at right now,” the Bears' GM said. “There's record-setting pieces of this contract that I knew for a fact -- I thought -- was going to show him the respect that he deserves. And obviously that hasn’t been the case....We're doing everything we can to get this done."
Despite Poles' comments, his efforts clearly haven't been enough as Smith has decided to take his frustration public. Not only does Poles have the challenge of working out a record-setting deal, but he also has to negotiate directly with Smith since he doesn't have an agent.
“It’s difficult. There are emotions involved. It’s tough,” Poles said regarding the nature of the talks.
So far in his time as Bears' GM, Ryan Poles has done a solid job of adding depth pieces such as Michael Schofield and Riley Reiff. But losing Roquan Smith would be a monumental blow. Matt Eberflus's defense needs a leader, and that role cannot be filled by a patch job.
Quite frankly, the Chicago Bears have to pay Smith or trade him for a king's ransom. Otherwise, Poles will have to face the choir of Bears fans who have been pissed off for years.