It’s no secret that things have been tense between star linebacker Roquan Smith and the Chicago Bears. Smith has been in a hold-in situation with the Bears as negotiations have stalled between himself and first time GM Ryan Poles. The player many consider the face of this Bears defense hasn’t participated in a practice since July 27th, but the protest has come to an end.
Roquan announced yesterday that he would end his hold-in and finish out his contract season. While Smith has agreed to play he definitely showed some indignation in regard to the whole contract ordeal with the young LB calling it, “very distasteful.” So where do things go from here?
Any time Poles is asked about a deal with Roquan he assures the media it is still his goal to keep the LB on the Bears well beyond next season, and one would assume that goal will stand. Where the question comes in is how open Smith will be to these future offers after feeling disrespected in the two’s prior engagements. In his first presser since the hold-in, Smith stated that as far as continuing his career in Chicago, “whatever happens, happens.”
Based on that response by Roquan it would seem he’s still open to an extension if the number is right. It’s probably best he keeps this open-mind too because the Bears still hold a majority of the leverage next year. Should negotiations continue to go nowhere the Bears could place the franchise tag on Smith. What’s really interesting is Roquan appears to be ok with the tag as it would pay him a little over $18 million for the 2023 season.
With all the information that came from Roquan’s recent press conference it looks like, though he upset his star LB, Ryan Poles played this pretty well. Poles gets himself a player really trying to prove himself on a contract year while also buying time to work out a deal, even leaving himself a fall back in the tag. Things certainly don’t look as bleak as they did with the trade request was announced.