Roquan Smith to play out contract with Bears: ‘I’m just going to bet on myself’

Posted: 21/08/2022 in NFL
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Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith plans to play out his contract after previously requesting a trade amid extension negotiations.

“Negotiations are over right now,” Smith said, according to team reporter Larry Mayer. “I’m just going to bet on myself like I’ve always done.”

Smith returned to practice Saturday for the first time since the start of training camp, joining his teammates in a non-contact workout. He previously took part in the team’s offseason program but was placed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of camp. The Bears activated him from the PUP list on Aug. 10.

Earlier in August, Smith released a statement indicating his desire for the franchise to trade him. In the letter, the star defender shared that he believed the Bears’ new leadership “doesn’t value me” since extension conversations began in April.

New general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus reportedly offered Smith a backloaded contract that wouldn’t have made him the highest-paid player at the position. Poles also revealed his intentions were “to sign Roquan to this team.”

The 2018 first-round selection is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie deal, and he’s set to earn $9.7 million this season before possibly becoming a free agent in 2023.

Smith tallied a career-high 163 tackles along with 12 tackles for loss and three sacks in 2021.

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