Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus offered a couple of updates on linebacker Roquan Smith on Tuesday.
Smith requested a trade earlier this month due to a contract dispute (Smith wants an extension) with the Chicago front office.
On Tuesday, Eberflus told reporters that Smith will travel with the team this week for their preseason matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.
Eberflus also noted that Smit has been present during team meetings and “engaged”.
Roquan Smith will travel with the Bears to Seattle. He was present at practice today, but not participating. Matt Eberflus says Smith is in the building and engaged in meetings, but has no other updates.— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) August 16, 2022
It seems like an extreme longshot at this point that Smith will be traded.
I don’t know if a deal gets worked out or not before the season — my gut says it probably doesn’t — but I think Smith is playing for the Bears this year.
Smith is a natural leader. He’s going to be there ready to go when the games start. The contract stuff is just the business side of things (which can be ugly sometimes).
The Bears have the leverage over Smith for a couple of reasons. For starters, he’s under contract through the end of the season and Chicago can place the franchise tag on him next offseason. Secondly, Smith doesn’t have an agent and because he’s not an agent, he can’t talk to other NFL teams about a potential sign and trade deal.
I think we’ll see Smith eventually practice and then play as normal. And then next offseason, we’ll watch Chicago go through this all over again. At that point, though, I think a deal between Smith and the Bears finally gets done. He’s too important of a player to let him slip away.
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