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Roquan Smith to Travel with Bears but Won't Play vs. Seahawks amid Trade Request

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 16, 2022

Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith will travel with the team but will not play in Thursday's preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks amid his trade request, head coach Matt Eberflus told reporters Tuesday.

Eberflus described Smith as "engaged" despite the ongoing impasse between the linebacker and the organization regarding his future in Chicago. Smith publicly requested a trade earlier this month because of a stalling out in contract extension talks.

"The new front office regime doesn't value me here," Smith wrote in a statement sent to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. "They've refused to negotiate in good faith, every step of this journey has been 'take it or leave it'. The deal sent to me is one that would be bad for myself and for the entire LB market if I signed it. I've been trying to get something done that's fair since April, but their focus has been on trying to take advantage of me.

"I wanted to be a Bear for my entire career, help this team bring a [Super Bowl] back to our city. However, they have left me no choice than to request a trade that allows me to play for an organization that truly values what I bring to the table."

Bears general manager Ryan Poles responded to Smith's statement, saying the team does not plan to make a trade. Smith has not been participating in practice despite being activated off the physically unable to perform list last Wednesday.

The Bears can fine Smith for doing a so-called "hold-in." It's unclear if they've issued any punishment to this point, though Eberflus' public comments would indicate the team is still attempting to smooth things over.

Smith, a 2018 first-round pick, has been a star since stepping onto the field in Chicago. He set a career high with 163 tackles and added three sacks last season, earning second-team All-Pro honors for the second straight year.

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