You might want to buy a lottery ticket tonight if you predicted this turn in the Roquan Smith trade saga. Because the most recent developments surrounding the Chicago Bears linebacker have swiftly transformed the story from “unexpected but normal” to “really weird.”
On Monday, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that an unidentified party who is not a certified agent had contacted multiple clubs about trading for Smith. Whoever this is, they may or may not have any connection to Smith.
According to Pelissero, the NFL Management Council has warned all 32 franchises that communicating with a player under contract or their agent is considered tampering and that severe penalties will be handed out to teams that violate the policy.
“Tampering is a pernicious issue that eats away at the trust between clubs and the fairness of the game overall. Accordingly, the Competition Committee has proposed stricter discipline than…imposed in previous years in the event that tampering is discovered. By Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) Thursday, August 15, 2022
To what end does Smith seek a trade?
Smith, the Bears’ number eight pick from the 2018 draft, has recently asked to be traded. He has given the media a statement explaining his desire to leave Chicago. Smith is looking to leave the Bears because he doesn’t think his new front office, led by Ryan Poles, appreciates him. Their “take it or leave it” contract offer insulted him because he thought it was unfair to him and the “entire linebacker market.”
All-Pro Linebacker for the #Bears As such, Roquan Smith has asked to be traded. pic.twitter.com/x4vmOMhROt As tweeted by Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) on August 9, 2022
A standout at linebacker, Smith plays for the Bears, a team that has struggled in recent years. This is the final year of his rookie deal, and he’s making just over $9 million this year, so it’s understandable that he’d like a new deal.
But that’s a problem because Smith doesn’t have much leverage to begin with. He has a deal with the team for this year, and next year he could be franchise tagged. The Bears shouldn’t consider trading him unless they believe they can get a good return for him.
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