On Tuesday morning, Chicago Bears fans awoke to shocking news. As reported by NFL insider Ian Rapoport, Roquan Smith voiced his frustration over contract negotiations and requested a trade out of town. This statement came to light after extension talks between Smith and the Bears seemingly hit a snag.
Later in the day, Rapaport joined the Parkins & Spiegel Show to address the matter further. When asked specifically if Smith wanted more money than (Darius) Shaquille Leonard, Rapaport confirmed that to be the case.
To put it in perspective, Leonard signed a five-year, $98.5 million contract last August. Additionally, Leonard's new deal also includes $52.5 million in guaranteed money and a $20 million signing bonus. The annual average value comes out to roughly $19.7 million. At the time, that contract set the market at the position.
Now, that would be just the starting point in Roquan Smith's demands. A new deal for Smith would most likely reset the market for inside linebackers.
This begs the question: has Smith earned that kind of money? Well, there are a couple of stats that show exactly where he stacks up, especially compared to Leonard.
Likewise, Smith has done something that hasn't been done since Ray Lewis.
Chicago Bears' GM Ryan Poles said he will do "everything [he] can do to get this done" to keep Roquan Smith in the navy and orange. But if he truly means it, then the Bears will likely have to hand out some record-setting money to the star linebacker.