Bears linebacker Roquan Smith stated in a written assertion that he has requested a commerce after contract negotiations between himself and the group reached an deadlock.
Smith penned an announcement that was posted to social media by NFL Community on Tuesday. ESPN has confirmed the validity of those messages.
The 25-year-old linebacker wrote that the “new entrance workplace regime doesn’t worth me right here,” after Smith says he had been making an attempt to work on an extension since April.
“They’ve refused to barter in good religion,” Smith wrote. “Each step of this journey has been ‘take it or depart it.’ The deal despatched to me is one that will be unhealthy for myself, and for your entire LB market if I signed it.”
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Because the Bears drafted him eighth general in 2018, the previous Georgia standout has 14 sacks whereas recording at the very least 101 tackles and an interception in every season he’s performed. Smith was set to earn $9.7 million on the ultimate yr of his rookie deal and was positioned on the bodily unable to carry out (PUP) checklist when he reported to camp in late July.
Smith accused the Bears’ entrance workplace of “making an attempt to benefit from me,” and that the group “left me no alternative than to request a commerce that permits me to play for a corporation that really values what I convey to the desk.”
In April, Smith expressed confidence that he would stay in Chicago long run with a brand new deal and was a full participant throughout voluntary exercises and necessary minicamp. In his assertion, the linebacker stated that needed to be with the Bears for his complete profession.
At first of coaching camp, first-year normal supervisor Ryan Poles, who expressed a want to achieve an settlement on an extension for Smith earlier than the beginning of the common season, addressed the crew not but executing a brand new deal for Smith.
“My emotions for Roquan don’t change in any respect,” Poles stated July 26. “I really like the participant and the individual. And that gained’t change. The one factor I’ll ask everybody right here, I do know I’m going to get a variety of questions and I get it. I’m simply not going to speak about contracts and all that, so I needed to only make sure that we addressed it although. By way of my emotions for him, nothing modifications.”
Smith has been current at Halas Corridor day by day throughout coaching camp, usually seen using a stationary bike throughout apply. Coach Matt Eberflus famous his expectations in July for Smith whereas he remained on the PUP checklist.
“Keep concerned, be a pacesetter, be engaged, which he’s doing and can do,” Eberflus stated. “He’s a professional. He’s been within the league lengthy sufficient. He’s a extremely good participant. We’re excited to have him as a Chicago Bear. And he’ll try this.”
In his assertion, Smith apologized to Bears followers whereas expressing little religion that negotiations would flip round.
“I haven’t had the prospect to speak to the McCaskey household, and possibly they’ll salvage this, however as of proper now I don’t see a path again to the group I actually love,” Smith stated.
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