The Chicago Bears are coming off a disappointing 2021 season, and the 2022 campaign isn't off to a good start with linebacker Roquan Smith requesting a trade on Tuesday:
The news led to significant blowback over social media:
Bryan Perez @BryanPerezNFL
If bad teams want to attract good players in the future, they should treat their good players well right now. There's more than just 'positional value' at play here. It's a bad look if the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bears?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bears</a> don't reward one of their absolute best players with a new deal. Players talk. <a href="https://t.co/sJScFhWYY4">https://t.co/sJScFhWYY4</a>
Smith has been one of the few bright spots for the Bears in recent years, earning second-team All-Pro honors in each of the last two seasons. He finished 2021 with 163 tackles, adding three sacks and one interception returned for a touchdown.
Losing the 25-year-old could further hurt a team that went 6-11 last season before trading Khalil Mack in the offseason.
Chicago has a new general manager in Ryan Poles and a new head coach in Matt Eberflus, but major questions remain heading into 2022.