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Bears Rumors: Person Claiming to Rep Roquan Smith Making Calls Gauging Trade Market

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 12, 2022

Roquan Smith (Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

A person claiming to represent Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith has reportedly made calls to other NFL teams to gauge interest in a potential trade.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Friday the unnamed individual isn't certified by the NFL Players Association as an agent, and such contact would nonetheless be barred since Smith hasn't been granted permission by the Bears to speak with rival front offices.

The PFT report doesn't state whether Smith, who represents himself and requested a trade Tuesday, is aware of the "impermissible contact."

Smith is entering the final season of his rookie contract. He's scheduled to earn a $9.7 million base salary as part of a fifth-year option picked up by the Bears in May 2021.

The 2018 first-round pick released a statement to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network on Tuesday in coordination with the trade request, saying the organization has "refused to negotiate in good faith":

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bears?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bears</a> All-Pro LB Roquan Smith has requested a trade. <a href="https://t.co/x4vmOMhROt">pic.twitter.com/x4vmOMhROt</a>

Smith has been part of a new trend around the league with players deciding to "hold in"—showing up for training camp in an effort to avoid fines typically associated with a holdout but not taking part in practices—while trying to work out a new contract.

Bears head coach Matt Eberflus confirmed Thursday the team's medical staff cleared the inside linebacker to return from an undisclosed injury that led him to start camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, but he's opted against taking the field.

Meanwhile, Chicago general manager Ryan Poles said Tuesday they're "doing everything we can to get this [new contract] done."

"Right now my intentions are to sign Roquan to this team," Poles told reporters. "And we're going to take it day-by-day. At the end of the day, we've got to do what's best for this organization. But my intentions are to make sure Roquan Smith's on this team."

Smith has recorded 525 total tackles, 17 passes defended, 14 sacks, five interceptions and a forced fumble in 61 games across four seasons with the Bears. He's been voted a Second Team All-Pro each of the past two years.

Chicago plays its first preseason game Saturday when it hosts the Kansas City Chiefs at Solider Field. It opens the regular season Sept. 11 with a home game against the San Francisco 49ers.

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